Newry sex attacker sentenced to 14 years
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
A Newry man who bound and blindfolded his victims before carrying out horrific sex attacks has been sentenced today to 14 years imprisonment and will be placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Sean Heaton, from the John Martin Street area, had maintained his innocence since his 2011 arrest but made a u-turn several monthes ago and pleaded guilty.
The 48 year old admitted his guilt to 11 charges including attempted rape, indecent assault, assault with intent to rape, unlawful imprisonment, threats to kill and robbery.
According to media reports, one of Heaton’s victims was just 18 when she was attacked from behind and dragged into an entry in John Martin Street before she was blindfolded and her hands tied behind her back.
She was then subjected to a terrifying and prolonged sex attack. The 18 year old was warned by Heaton that she would be scarred so badly her own family would not recognise her if she reported the attack.
In another sickening atttack just yards from the first sex attack in an alley way, Heaton attacked a 21 year old woman after putting a hat over her face. She managed to escape after screaming and convincing Heaton that she was only 16.
In a separate attack, on 27th August 2006, a 42 year old woman was attacked in the Mourne Drive area of Warrenpoint by Heaton, who was wearing a balaclava and latex gloves.
The woman fought off Heaton and in the struggle Heaton left a glove at the scene, which local police were able to match from a DNA swab years later when he was arrested on a domestic violence matter.
Speaking to Newry Times, Newry police welcomed the sentence. Detective Inspector Stephen Wilson, Serious Crime Branch said, “The investigation into these crimes was prolonged, protracted and very difficult for the victims, their family and indeed the police officers from the specialist Rape Crime Unit involved in the investigation.
“Police would like to thank the victims for having the strength and courage to come forward and give evidence in this case. Serious sexual assault is one of the most heinous crimes a human being can carry out against another.
Wilson added, “Our officers will continue to do everything in their power to hunt down those responsible, as well as supporting victims and their families. Police would wish to encourage any victim of serious sexual assault to report it to police so it can be investigated and those responsible can be brought before the courts.”
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