THE young victim of a ‘terrifying’ attack has branded her attacker as a ‘pathetic little weed’ after seeing him receive a five- year sentence.
Luke Myers, 20, of Wingap Lane, Haughley, was sent to a Young Offenders’ Institution for five years for throttling the woman and threatening to rape her, during a ‘prolonged’ attack in Stowmarket cemetery.
Myers, who pleaded guilty to a charge of false imprisonment at an earlier hearing, claimed to have no memory of the incident, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Friday.
His victim, a 23-year-old from Stowmarket, said after the hearing: “He just looked like a pathetic little weed.”
The woman, who is now nervous to go out and has suffered flashbacks and sleepless nights, said she had gone to court to get closure. “I wanted to hear for myself,” she said.
“It has brought some kind of closure to it. For me what has happened will never go away. It will be with me for the rest of my life.”
Prosecutor Michael Crimp said the woman was on her way to work and entered the cemetery at 5.30am on April 30, when Myers approached her asking for the time.
He then grabbed her, with one arm across her chest and used his other hand to stifle her cries for help.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later described to police how Myers had told her that he would rape and kill her before asking if she had any condoms. When she said no, he said: ‘Well, you are just going to get pregnant then’.
He dragged her into some bushes, pushed her to the ground, got on top of her and throttled her until she passed out.
“She thought she was going to die,” said Mr Crimp.
It is thought Myers stopped when he heard a passer-by, who then went to get help. Jogger, Justin Sheriff, saw Myers run off and gave chase, detaining him until police arrived.
The victim was found by two work colleagues who at first feared she was dead, the court heard.
Mr Crimp said that Myers, who smelled of alcohol, became verbally aggressive to a paramedic who was trying to check his condition before police took him away.
A clump of the victim’s hair was found caught around a stud on his sleeve.
For Myers, Joanne Eley said her client wanted to apologise for what he had done.
“He is sorry for his actions. He is horrified by his own behaviour,” she said.
Miss Eley said the offence had been completely out of character.
The court heard how Myers had spent previous hours in a nightclub drinking and taking drugs.
“No doubt the amount of drugs and alcohol he had consumed the previous evening and into the early morning had some bearing on this,” said Miss Eley. “He knows he had only himself to blame but he is determined to make a better life for himself in the future.”
Myers had no memory of what happened and while in police custody he was taken to hospital twice because officers were concerned about the level of alcohol and drugs in his system, the court heard.
Sentencing Myers, Judge Martin Binning said: “This was clearly a terrifying and prolonged ordeal.”
Two other charges of assault and assault with intention to commit a sexual offence, to which Myers pleaded not guilty, will remain on file.
The victim said she wanted to thank Mr Sheriff and her work colleagues for helping her.