`

Teenager violently raped and robbed after asking man for directions in Leeds city centre

Neil McNally.
Neil McNally.

A teenage mum was violently raped and robbed by a man she asked for directions in Leeds city centre.

The 19-year-old victim believed she was going to be killed after Neil McNally led her to a dead end beside a canal before subjecting her to the brutal attack.

McNally, 33, was given a 15-year sentence today after a judge said he posed a serious risk to the public.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim was targeted as she was trying to find an apartment on Call Lane where a party was being held.

McNally approached the teenager on Sovereign Street as she was on the phone to her friend and asked her is she had any change.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said the victim asked McNally if he knew the address on Call Lane and he offered to show her where it was.

McNally led her onto Neville Street and down steps next to Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

REVEALED: WORST HOTSPOTS FOR VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT OFFENCES IN LEEDS CITY CENTRE

Mr Smith said: “She came to realise that she was being led towards a dead end and became concerned.”

McNally punched the teenager, causing her to hit her head on the wall, and put his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.

He rummaged through her handbag, taking her phone and a bank card before demanding her PIN number.

McNally then put a condom on and subjected her to the sex attack.

Mr Smith said: “After the rape ended the defendant got up and apologised to the complainant.

“She asked if she could go home and asked him not to hurt her.

“He reassured her that she could go home.

“She put her clothes back on and the defendant hit her again to the face, knocking her to the floor.”

The teenager pretended to be unconscious as she feared McNally would throw her in the canal.

Mr Smith added: “She genuinely thought she was going to die.

“She was terrified about the prospect of being thrown in to the canal.”

McNally left with the handbag and used the bank card to withdraw ten pounds at a shop.

The attack happened around 9.30pm on January 20 this year.

McNally was identified as the suspect through DNA evidence and was arrested that evening at his home on Everleigh Street, Burmantofts.

The prosecutor read a victim statement to the court on behalf of the teenager.

Describing the attack, she said: “All I could think about was my daughter. That she would not know me or be able to remember me.

“As a result of this I do not really want to see anyone or connect with anyone.

“Being a victim of rape is going to affect my life forever.”

McNally pleaded guilty to rape, assault by penetration, robbery and fraud.

Adrian Pollard, mitigating, said: “The defendant recognises and does not suggest that this is anything other than an horrific incident with a long term impact for the victim.

“It seems to have perhaps started with the idea of a robbery and turned in to an absolutely awful crime.”

McNally was told he must serve a custodial term of ten years followed by five years on licence.

Judge Penelope Belcher said: “This girl cannot lead a normal existence because of what you have done to her.

“This was plainly a thoroughly horrible, frightening and horrific incident.”

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Scott of the Homicide and Major Enquiry, said: “McNally is a highly dangerous sexual offender who showed behaviour which was predatory in the extreme.

“He targeted a vulnerable victim and, under the guise of initially trying to provide assistance, led her to an isolated location where he subjected her to a terrifying ordeal.

“He was identified quickly as a result of fast tracked police enquiries and we are pleased he has been given a substantial sentence today.

“We now hope his victim may in time find some sense of closure from seeing him behind bars for what was a truly despicable offence.

“Reports of sexual offences are treated with the utmost seriousness by detectives and I can promise victims that all reports will be thoroughly investigated.”