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Sexual assault victim 'thought she was going to die' on Mablethorpe beach

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

Lincoln Crown Court

A MAN who carried out a violent sex attack was described as so dangerous that there is an "inevitable risk" that he would commit similar attacks on women if he is allowed free.

Donald Sturt attacked his 26-year-old victim on Mablethorpe beach in the early hours of New Year's Day moments after he was ejected from a nearby bar for harassing women.

Mark Knowles, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that the victim had also been in the bar but left to spend some time by herself on the beach.

Sturt deliberately targeted her and after following her he asked if she had a boyfriend. She questioned Sturt as to why he was following her and suddenly he became angry and attacked her.

Mr Knowles said: "He jumped on her and put his hands around her throat. He knocked her to the floor and continued to put his hands around her throat.

"Sturt put his tongue in her mouth and she bit him. She tried to scream and was pleading with him.

"He began to grip her more tightly. She felt her chest was going to explode. She could not speak because his hands were so tight around her throat and she began to lose consciousness. She thought she was going to die."

Sturt carried out a sex attack on her but then suddenly stopped and ran away. The woman returned to the Spanish City complex in a distressed state and police were called.

Investigations quickly established that Sturt had been thrown out of the bar shortly before the attack took place and he was arrested. Officers discovered his tongue was injured but when he was questioned he denied he was involved in the attack saying he went straight home after leaving the bar.

Sturt, 20, of Sutton Road, Trusthorpe, admitted sexual assault on January 1. He also admitted two charges of outraging public decency after twice committing a sex act in front of young girls while on bail.

Psychiatrist Dr Gillian Bennett told the hearing that there was "a high and inevitable" risk of Sturt committing further violent sexual offences.

She said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Judge Michael Heath ordered Sturt to be detained indefinitely at the Arnold Lodge secure psychiatric unit in Leicester and will only be released when he is considered safe. Sturt was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

The judge said: "This plainly was the most terrifying experience for the victim. She did absolutely nothing to encourage the attention of the defendant and she did everything within her power to try and fight him off when he attacked her."

Catarina Sjolin, defending, said "He is ashamed and embarrassed and so dreadfully sorry for what he did."

She said Sturt was in the middle of a psychotic episode when the attack occurred.

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