A former soldier who pounced on a woman as she walked home alone from a Hartlepool nightclub has been jailed more than 20 years after the attack.
Carl Allison sexually assaulted the woman after she left Buzz and Zoom nightclub in Hartlepool in the early hours in 1995, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Allison could not be traced at the time, but he was collared in 2014 after being cautioned for assaulting his partner at the time in Hull.
The attack led to police taking DNA from Allison, before detectives made a forensic link to the earlier sex crime. The judge in the case described it as a “serious assault” which led to his victim suffering “20 years of anxiety”.
“The victim left the Buzz and Zoom club in Villiers Street,” said Rupert Dodswell, prosecuting. “She became aware of a man running behind her, but at first thought nothing of it.
“He grabbed her from behind, ripping her blouse as the pair fell to the ground.
“She continued to struggle but the man managed to rip her bra, exposing her breasts which he grabbed causing bruising.
“During the struggle she bit his left arm, leaving her with some of his shirt cuff in her mouth.”
The court heard the woman screamed for help.
“But none came,” Mr Dodswell added. “The attack finished as suddenly as it began.
“Allison ran off along Park Road into York Road, where the victim lost sight of him.
“He was not traced at the time, a DNA test of his blood producing no matches on the police database.
“However, in 2014 Allison was cautioned for assaulting his partner in Hull.
“A DNA sample taken then was matched to the Hartlepool assault.”
Allison, 41, of Percy Street, Hartlepool, admitted indecent assault.
He was of previous good character.
Robin Denny, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Allison has led a blameless and worthy life since this offence.
“He served in the Army, leaving with an unblemished service record.
“Since then, he has largely kept in employment.
“There are health problems within his family, which he is concerned his wife may not be able to cope with on her own if he is sent to custody today.”
Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Allison for two years.
The judge told him: “This was a serious assault on a woman who was walking alone in a built-up and well-lit area at night.
“Not only did you leave her with physical injuries in terms of bruising, but you also caused her longer term mental trauma.
“You have had 20 years of living a normal life, while she has had 20 years of anxiety.”