Victims of Norwich sex offender praised for their bravery
The bravery of vulnerable women who were sexually assaulted by a Norwich man has been praised by prosecutors.
Stephen Hammond, 59, was branded a “high risk” dangerous offender as he was jailed for 12 years with an extended period on licence of three years and ordered to serve a minimum of two-thirds of that sentence.
Welcoming the sentence the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he had sought to “ruthlessly exploit women for his own sexual gratification”.
Jane Foster, from CPS East of England, said: “This was a highly complex and challenging case but working alongside the police I was determined to seek justice and ensure the victims’ voices were heard.
“I have immense respect for the women who have displayed both courage and resilience to come forward and report what happened to them. I hope that this sentence has brought those affected by this man’s actions a sense of justice.”
Hammond selectively groomed “particularly vulnerable” women to follow him to his Dereham Road home, before actively encouraging them to take drugs and alcohol.
Two of the women had been unconscious when he sexually assaulted them while he video recorded one of the attacks.
Three women, two aged 40 and one 51, had been living in sheltered housing with long histories of alcohol or drug abuse and mental health issues.
Additional sex offences relating to a fourth woman were dropped after she was unable to give evidence in court.
Hammond was found guilty following a retrial of three offences of sexual assault by penetration, one charge of sexual assault and one of voyeurism.
Sentencing Hammond at Norwich Crown Court, Judge Antony Bate also praised the bravery of the women and the dedication of police for their “careful investigation in this very sensitive and challenging case”.