Jail for man behind sexually-motivated assault in Canterbury
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A jail term has been imposed on a man who carried out a sexually-motivated assault on a woman in Canterbury.
Jack Smith punched and kicked the woman on a riverside path near Kingsmead Road on Tuesday 17 December 2019.
The 24-year-old, of St Stephen's Road, Canterbury, was arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.
He denied the charges and was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday 13 August. He was jailed for six years at the same court on Friday 18 December and ordered to serve an extra three years on licence.
The victim was walking along the riverside path shortly after 6am when Smith attacked her from behind and said: 'You're coming with me for some fun.'
He wrapped his arms around her and she offered him money and her bag in the hope that he would let her go, but he repeatedly punched her in the head and kicked her to the stomach when she started to scream.
Smith knocked her to the ground and dragged her along by her arms and legs before a member of the public heard the noise and came towards them.
Smith ran off and the victim and the member of public sought safety at a nearby business, to where police were called.
DNA evidence led to Smith being identified as a suspect and he was arrested and charged on Sunday 19 January.
The victim, who had no connection to Smith, was not seriously physically injured in the attack, but was left shaken and psychologically distressed. She gave evidence against Smith during the trial.
Following his conviction and sentence, Kent Police's senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Eleanor Miller said: 'I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the victim and also thank the man who came to her aid on the day of the assault. I am in no doubt that his chance intervention prevented Smith committing a serious sexual offence against this victim.
'I hope the investigation, conviction and sentence give her a sense that justice has been served and offer her a degree of closure on the events of that morning.
'The incident and Smith's actions in court show he is a dangerous man and I am pleased this sentence will see him taken off the streets for some time and, when released, he will be subject to the sex offenders' notifications requirements.'