Sex attacker must serve full sentence
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
A PREDATORY pervert who pounced on his vulnerable victims by cover of darkness, dragging them into alleyways and subjecting them to sustained serious sexual assaults has been locked up for 14 years.
Sean Heaton of John Martin Street, Newry and Mourne Drive, Warrenpoint, was caught by chance after his arrest on a separate matter in June 2011 led to his DNA being linked to the two attacks he carried out in Newry and Warrenpoint. And the 48-year-old is deemed so dangerous that the Judge who sentenced him has ordered that he serve his entire term without the usual 50 per cent remission.
Such was Heaton's planning and pre-meditation that he laid a rug on the ground where he carried out the first of his attacks on January 14, 2002. The then 37-year-old lay in wait and watched as his victim parted company from her friend just yards away from her home. The girl, who had been out celebrating having turned 18 just days earlier, was jumped from behind, blindfolded and dragged into a nearby alleyway at the rear of John Martin Street.
Threatening the youngster - who, Newry Crown Court heard, was, at the time, a sexually inexperienced virgin - that he would cut-up her face "so badly her family wouldn't recognise her and children would fear her", Heaton held her for hours, assaulting her repeatedly.
It was a partial thumbprint Heaton left on a drop of gravy his victim had accidentally spilled on her coat as she ate a fast food carry-out on the way home that night which would finally be his undoing, with a print and DNA match a decade later finally linking him to the attack.
But before that would happen, Heaton would strike again in August 2006, this time near the Mourne Drive area of Warrenpoint where he'd been brought up.
Similarly to the first instance, Heaton's victim was walking home alone after a night out, unaware he was watching from the shadows.
Wearing a black ski mask and latex gloves, Heaton jumped the 49-year-old from behind dragged her into an alleyway and told her he would slit her throat if she screamed. He forced her to the ground, straddled her and attempted pulling her trousers off. But the 49-year-old woman fought fiercely against her attacker, pulling off his latex gloves, scraps of which police later found at the scene.
Again, Heaton's DNA was matched to that found on this scrap of evidence after his 2011 arrest.
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