April 2023

Sexually assaulted a hospital patient previously flashed a group of children before choking a girl

A “predator” who sexually assaulted a hospital patient previously flashed a group of children before choking one girl until she passed out.

Russell Jones was jailed after he drunkenly “loitered” in the grounds of Whiston Hospital “attempting to befriend female patients” before attacking a “vulnerable” wheelchair user.

The 45-year-old’s criminal record includes a horrifying attack in 2015, which began when he exposed himself to several teenagers in Warrington.

He then approached one of the youngsters and “placed his lips on her neck”, grabbed her breasts and “tickled her stomach and ribs”.

When she responded by punching him in the face, Jones shockingly placed both of his hands around her neck, lifted her off the ground and strangled her until she was unconscious.

The assault only stopped when her friends intervened, punching him until he released her from his grip.

He was jailed for two years as a result, while he also has another conviction for sexual assault from 2014.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Thursday afternoon that the latest incident occurred in October last year amid a “breakdown in his relationship”.

Robert Wyn Jones, prosecuting, described how he “began loitering in the grounds of Whiston Hospital attempting to befriend female patients”.

His victim, who was an inpatient at the time and using a wheelchair, was with her boyfriend and a friend by the entrance when Jones – formerly of Ratcliffe Place in Rainhill – approached them clutching a bottle of vodka.

She was then taken back to her room, but subsequently “encountered the defendant on a number of occasions” throughout the day.

When her partner left in a taxi, the convicted sex offender “watched and waited” for him to leave before approaching her and attempting to push her back to her ward before a hospital volunteer intervened – at which point he “claimed to know her”.

She was later having a cigarette with the same friend when Jones began hassling them again and made an “inappropriate remark” to the latter, saying he “wouldn’t mind having half an hour with her”.

The “sexual predator” interrupted the prosecutor at this point to say “all of this is wrong”. But Mr Wyn Jones continued and outlined how he then crouched down by the complainant, began stroking and touching her leg and “moving his hand upwards”.

Jones was arrested at around midnight while still on the hospital site. He has a total of 40 previous convictions for 69 offences.

The victim bravely read out a statement to the court in which she outlined the impact of the incident upon her, including suffering a panic attack as she “believed he was following her” and experiencing nightmares. She added: “It happened in hospital, a place where I thought I was safe.

“I’m paranoid about people when they walk past me and what they might do to me as well. I don’t want to be anywhere alone. I constantly think about this. What he did to me was terribly wrong.

“I want him to know I’m not scared of him and he can’t treat me this way. I no longer have confidence when I go out and don’t feel like myself anymore – I no longer trust anyone due to this incident.”

Jones meanwhile responded callously by saying “I’ve got no interest in hearing her”.

Jones was found guilty of one count of sexual assault by a jury following a trial. Appearing via video link to HMP Liverpool, he was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years and handed a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim indefinitely.

Sentencing, Judge Garrett Byrne said: “Clearly, this sexual assault had a real adverse impact on her life. I find you to be highly dangerous.

“You present a significant risk to members of the public, particularly women. I have no doubt you see yourself as some kind of rough diamond, but you are in fact a sexual predator who demonstrates a complete inability to understand how your behaviour affects other people.”