Burglar who tried to rape teenager after breaking into her home jailed for 13-and-a-half years
A ‘henious’ masked burglar who attempted to rape a teenage woman in her own home has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years.
Serial burglar Steven Edwards, of Sixth Street, Horden, was only prevented in the attack by the valiant resistance of the victim before he left the flat with her phone and money.
Durham Crown Court heard the distressed woman ran to her mother’s, telling her step-father: “Some guy appeared in my flat and tried to rape me.”
Now, as Edwards begins his jail term, his victim has been praised for her bravery and helping secure his conviction.
The court heard Edwards was on a prison sentence licence and back on drugs shortly before Christmas.
He contacted the woman by Facebook, making inappropriate sexual comments and uninvited approaches, which were rebuffed.
Knowing where she lived, he entered her block of flats on Monday, January 18.
She was in her bedroom when she heard the door, believing it to be a relative.
Jo Kidd, prosecuting, said she was shocked when a man entered wearing a mask and cap, carrying a chisel.
She feared for her life as he attempted to choke her and he said he would release her if she performed a sex act on him, fleeing to the bathroom as he performed a sex act on himself.
While at large, Edwards twice burgled student homes in Durham, using a bank card 22 times for contactless purchases.
He admitted aggravated burglary and attempted rape, two counts of burglary and fraud relating to the card.
He will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender “until further order”.
Christine Egerton, for Edwards, said a psychiatric report stated he was “institutionalised” by prison and he felt “ashamed” at his actions, claiming he may be a “thief and burglar”, but did not consider himself a sex offender.
Judge Ray Singh described the principal offence as, “heinous”, in which Edwards persisted in his “concerted efforts” to rape the woman.
Detective inspector Sharon Alderson, of Peterlee CID, said: “This was a truly terrifying and violent attack on a young woman, who bravely fought off her attacker and then raised the alarm.
"She then showed immense courage for a second time by coming forward with the evidence we needed to secure Edwards’ conviction and 13-year sentence.”