July 2022

Pervert throttled and sexually assaulted woman on busy city centre street

A pervert attacked a woman, sexually assaulted her and stole her possessions on a busy city centre street.

Cole Thomas headbutted and throttled his victim before groping her during a shocking incident outside St Johns Shopping Centre. The 22-year-old then made vile threats to rape her and her family.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Monday, that the incident occurred shortly before midday on November 9 last year.

Thomas, from Aigburth, “began shouting at” the complainant before grabbing her fingers and headbutting her.

She pushed him away, but he responded by “grabbing her round the throat and digging his fingers into her neck”.

The defendant continued to be “verbally abusive”, calling her “disgusting” and saying that her mum was a “paedo”.

Thomas, of Mossley Hill Drive, then told her: “I hope you get raped. I will rape your mum and siblings while I’m at it.”

He then began “stroking her face” and grabbed her breasts over her clothing as she was pinned up against a wall.

The sex offender “suggested she was enjoying it” and added: “How does it feel to be touched without consent?”

Thomas, who appeared in court via video link to HMP Styal with two of his fingers in a bandage, took her purse from her handbag – causing the bag to rip – stole three bank cards and ripped up her train ticket before leaving.

Police attended the scene and found the victim “very distressed and crying”, while her assailant was located nearby and arrested.

In a statement read out to the court on her behalf, she described how she had been “overwhelmed by the incident”. She said: “It was the most frightening time of my life. He had no issue assaulting me in public and taking my property as if it was his. I don’t leave the house as I’m scared.

“I don’t know how to live anymore. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. I’m not the person I used to be. I’m unable to build up the courage to go out of the house.

“He has ruined my life in more ways than you could imagine. I’m stuck in a pattern of being unable to move on and put it behind me.”

Thomas admitted sexual assault and theft and was jailed for 30 months. He was also handed an indefinite restraining order and a 10-year notification requirement.

Sentencing, Recorder Eric Lamb said: “She was left feeling overwhelmed. She has found it frightening.

“It has resulted in panic and left her struggling to live her normal life. She summed it up, ‘I’m not the person I used to be’.

“That’s as a direct result of your conduct towards her. The impact of your behaviour towards her has been devastating for her.”

Thomas was also told to pay a victim surcharge.