July 2023

Dale Edey of Pentwyn, Cardiff, has been jailed for a sexual assault in Bute Park

A woman was grabbed by a man pretending to look for a dog who attempted to drag her to bushes and sexually assault her. She “screamed her lungs off” but was told by her attacker “Shut up or I’ll kill you.”

Dale Edey, 38, targeted his victim as she walked through Bute Park in Cardiff at around 6.30am on August 31 last year.

She was terrified as he wrapped his arms around her and forcibly kissed her, before attempting to drag her towards an isolated area of the park.

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday heard the victim had gone through a morning stroll and spoke to her mother on the phone.

As she reached an area of the park with outside gym equipment, she noticed the defendant who seemed to be looking for something.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said Edey asked her if she had seen a dog, the victim said she had not but would keep an eye out. Mr Griffiths added: “He approached her and grabbed her, wrapping his arms around her and began kissing her neck. She struggled against him and began screaming.”

The victim went to the floor and Edey pinned her to the ground before attempting to drag her to a hedge and bushes nearby.

As he did so, the victim banged her head on gym equipment. She continued screaming and struggling, as the defendant grabbed at her clothes and jogging bottoms, and tried to pull them down.

Mr Griffiths said: “(The victim), in her words, screamed her lungs off for help and he responded ‘Shut up or I’ll kill you’. Screaming turned to pleading, she didn’t give up struggling and eventually the defendant got up and left her.”

The victim made her way to the Blackweir entrance of the park when a man stopped to help her and the police were called.

The park was closed for investigations to be carried out and the victim’s clothes were analysed for forensic evidence. DNA evidence was found on the waist band of her jogging bottoms, which later matched with a Edey’s DNA profile.

The defendant, of Pennsylvania Avenue, Pentwyn, was arrested on September 19 but denied the offences and answered no comment to questions put to him.

He later pleaded guilty to sexual assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and committing an offence with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence.

The court heard he has 31 previous convictions, including assault by beating.

Sentencing, the Recorder of Cardiff Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said Edey had refused to leave his cell and attend the sentencing hearing for the second day in a row, so would be sentenced in his absence. She added: “You caused severe psychological harm and used violence against your victim.”

Edey was sentenced to four years and 11 months imprisonment, and a extended three years on licence. He will serve two thirds of the sentence before he is considered for parole and was subject to sex offender notification requirements.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, the victim said: “Since this incident has happened I have suffered from anxiety which affects me and my ability to function on a day to day basis. Shortly after the attack I would break down and cry anywhere or any time. I was extremely distressed after going to the incident.

“It affects my sleep and I often dream about what happened and even now to this day I have regular nightmares. I was initially injured and had bruises and torn muscles which made it hard to sleep for a while because I was sore. I felt beaten and it takes time to recover from that.

“The incident happened in the day time so I am generally uneasy during the day, I am uneasy about where I am and who is around me which is especially true when I am on my own. I cannot speak to strangers any more, this is really sad as I used to be friendly and happy to help but I will never interact with strangers because I am scared of them.