Jail for man, 19, who tried to rape victim on her way home

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A 19-YEAR-OLD sex attacker who admitted assaulting a 50-year-old woman after “pouncing” on her from behind as she walked home from work alone has been jailed for six years.

Declan Cooper, of Shirehall Road in Sheffield, was sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to attempted rape and sexual assault last month.

He was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court for what police described as a “horrific attack” on a “complete stranger as she walked home from work”.

The offence took place in the early hours of August 9 this year, when Cooper approached the woman from behind on Hatfield House Lane in Shiregreen and attacked her.

Det Con Tom Ryan, of South Yorkshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “This was a horrific attack by Cooper, who sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a complete stranger as she walked home from work.

“I hope it is of some comfort to the victim in this case that Cooper has been brought to justice and is now facing a significant length of time behind bars.”

He added that he was pleased Cooper admitted the offences to save his victim “the further trauma of going through a crown court trial”.

He said: “I would also like to thank the members of the public who came forward with information, which has led to a dangerous offender being put behind bars.

“People have a right to feel safe as they walk through the streets of this city, regardless of whether they are male or female, alone or in company.

“South Yorkshire Police takes all reports of crime extremely seriously and works tirelessly to gather every piece of evidence in order to bring offenders to justice.”

Last week a man who admitted four counts of rape after attacking three women in Rotherham on the same night was jailed for life.

Nicholas Totty, 25, of Newman Road, was ordered to serve a minimum of 10 years by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court for the offences committed on September 27.

One of his victims, aged 27, was hit over the head with a torch before being raped in the Moorgate area.

Less than two hours later he attacked a woman and repeatedly raped a teenager at a nearby house.