A sexual predator pounced on a woman as she walked home alone, on a path near a busy road, before “rugby tackling her” to the ground and trying to “bundle her into some bushes.”
Matthew Littlefield, described in court this week as “sexually frustrated” and “obsessed”, had sent explicit WhatsApp messages to another woman brazenly asking her for sex hours before the horrific attack.
His internet history revealed he had also searched for “fab swingers” and explicit images hours before he carried out the random attack, report Hull Live.
A shocked witness heard “distressed hysterical screaming” from the victim as she desperately scuffled on the ground with her attacker before he fled from the scene, leaving behind an unlocked phone with his tell-tale details on it, Hull Crown Court heard.
Littlefield had a long history of violence, the court was told.
Littlefield, 28, of Highfield Road, Beverley, denied assaulting the woman, causing actual bodily harm, with intent to commit a sexual offence, on October 16, last year, but he was convicted by a jury after a trial. He had admitted assault, causing actual bodily harm.
Richard Butters, prosecuting, said that the woman had been out for a meal with a friend in Beverley and started to walk home along Hull Bridge Road towards Tickton at 7.55pm and was opposite Southfield Drive when she noticed Littlefield on the same path. “He was pursuing her, he had seen her,” said Mr Butters.
“He was heading towards her and towards Beverly. They passed one another.”
The woman thought that Littlefield was simply going to walk past her but he did not. “He jumped on her from her and he pushed her onto a grass verge area,” said Mr Butters. “This defendant grabbed hold of the complainant and tried to bundle her into some bushes.
“He was on top of her. The two of them were wrestling on the ground. You can imagine how terrified she must have been. She was fighting back, kicking, punching and screaming at him.
“The incident seemed to last for ages. I have jumped off her and ran across the road to Southfield Drive. A witness was on the opposite side of the road, fortunately, and asked her if she was okay. The response was, no, she was not okay. Another member of the public, again thankfully, was there and was there to assist this lady.”
The woman suffered unpleasant injuries to her right and left cheeks, forehead and chin, her shoulders were aching and the area of her left ribs was very painful. A woman who saw part of the incident heard the victim shouting and became concerned when it did not decrease or stop.
She had seen two figures entangled together and scuffling on the ground. She shouted: “What are you doing?” towards them.
“She was the one who stopped all of this, thank heaven,” said Mr Butters. “The defendant got up and ran towards them and down Southfield Drive. He passed a parked car, nearly running into it, and he looked at her and her son de ella. I have headed down the road and into Sigston Road at speed.”
A motorist had earlier seen Littlefield “rugby tackle” the woman to the ground. She drove back and heard “distressed hysterical screaming” from the victim. Littlefield ran across the road in front of the car and then out of view.
“He was sprinting very fast to get away,” said Mr Butters. “The police were called and they attended the scene. They found an iPhone and that’s what caused this defendant to be identified. It was unlocked. This defendant’s details were on the phone.”
Littlefield was arrested at his home at midnight. I have made no comment to all questions. “He gave no explanation whatsoever as to why he behaved as he had done in taking her to the ground and attacking her in such a fashion – no explanation at all,” said Mr Butters.
The woman felt that Littlefield had been trying to undo the button of her trousers. Littlefield did not take anything from her. “His intention of her was not to rob her,” said Mr Butters.
“The defendant was trying to get her into bushes next to the grass verge. This defendant needed cover from the bushes, cover from the grass verge, to commit a sexual offence, to take the complainant away from the public eye. He was preoccupied with thoughts of a sexual nature.”
Shortly before the incident, between 6.07 and 6.35pm, he had been having sexualized WhatsApp message conversations with another person and asked her: “Wanna f***?” as well as repeatedly trying to ring her. He had searched on the internet for “fab swingers” and had looked at a sexualized “sheer delight” profile and gallery at 6.28pm, not long before the incident.
“He wanted sex,” said Mr Butters. “He was assaulting that woman on that particular night as his intention was to commit a sexual offence.”
Judge John Thackray QC said: “The intention here was that he was going to rape.”
Littlefield had a “long history of violence” including against women and a caution for a sexual-type offense and he would receive a “significant” prison sentence that would be “measured in many years”.
Sentence was added for a report on the level of danger that Littlefield posed to the public. He was further ordered in custody.
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