September 2023

Man to be sentenced following Harpenden sexual assaults

A man who pleaded guilty to kidnap and sexually assaulting two teenage girls more than 20 years ago is facing a “significant” jail sentence.

Alec Housden, 60, from Kingsbury Gardens, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, admitted the offences, carried out in Harpenden, in 2002.

St Albans Crown Court found him not guilty of another kidnap in 2004.

Judge Michael Roques remanded Housden into custody ahead of sentencing on 18 December.

The jury heard he took a 16-year-old girl as she was walking home from school on Sunday 7 April, 2002.

He grabbed her from behind and dragged her into a wooded area by Piggottshill Lane, Harpenden, and sexually assaulted her.

She was found by a jogger, taken to a nearby house and the police were called.

A DNA swab from her bra linked Housden to the crime.

The court heard on Wednesday 19 June the same year, at the same location, Housden grabbed a 17-year-old girl.

She was put in the passenger seat of his car and taken to a wooded area where he also sexually assaulted her.

The court heard the defence team asked for a psychiatric report to be prepared on Housden.

Judge Michael Roques also asked for a report to be prepared of the danger he posted.

The judge told him: “You face a custodial sentence of some significant length.”