Sheffield knifeman jailed for 'totally wretched' sex assault on woman, 71

A SHEFFIELD sex attacker has been jailed for 12 years for a 'totally wretched' assault on a 71-year-old woman.

Martin Holmes

Martin Holmes, aged 52, burst into a house in Norton Lees wielding a kitchen knife and demanded cash from his victim before sexually assaulting her twice.

Hull Crown Court heard that Holmes had been on the same bus as the woman on the morning of March 17 this year. CCTV showed he stared at her for the whole journey before getting off at the same stop and following her to a house.

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Once he had established she was alone, he entered the house through an unlocked door.

John Thackray, prosecuting, said: "The victim had changed into her slippers, made herself at home and was starting to wash the pots in the kitchen sink.

"Then the defendant was there with a big long knife, immediately asking her for money."

The court heard the victim, who was in 'a state of terror', gave Holmes £10 from her purse but refused to give him any more even though she had some.

Holmes then ordered her to partially undress and sexually assaulted her, before ordering her to go upstairs. She was then put through a further 'grotesque' sexual assault and was ordered to take her wedding ring off.

Mr Thackray said: "She struggled to get it off because of her arthritis."

Holmes, of Machon Bank, Nether Edge, then made off with the wedding band and cash.

Police were able to trace him through CCTV and in interview the court heard he admitted he 'got a buzz' from the attack and 'felt excited'.

Richard Thompson, for Holmes, said he has no previous convictions and added: "This was an isolated incident at a particular stage of his life."

Holmes pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated burglary.

Sentencing him to 12 years in prison, Judge Mark Bury called the victim a 'very brave lady' and added: "She has had the mental strength not to let this incident totally overwhelm her.

"Nevertheless, you have blighted her life, which will never be as happy as it deserves to be."

Holmes will be on the sex offenders register for life.