Rape victim dragged into woods and strangled while told she ‘deserved to die’

A rapist who told a sex worker she "deserved to die" launched a sickening attack after luring her into woodland.

Connor Fearon, 25, told a psychiatrist and probation officer that he fantasised about strangling during sex after watching pornography, which "involved that sort of thing".

In the early hours of December 19 last year, the thug called for a vulnerable woman who he took to a deserted bridleway where he tied a rope around her neck and pushed her to the ground.

Preston Crown Court heard how the terrifying attack only ended after a "public-spirited" resident in Catterall, Lancashire heard her screams and called the police.

Fearon admitted to rape, sexual assault by penetration and choke, suffocate, or strangling with intent to commit an indictable offence, Lancashire Post reports.

He has been jailed for 10 years,

Sentencing Fearon on Thursday, Judge Simon Medland QC said: "You decided to withdraw £180 of your dwindling money and call for the arrival of a female sex worker.

"She arrived by taxi near to where you lived. It was dark and cold. She was alone. You persuaded her to walk with you to where you said your caravan was and then suddenly turned on her, exhibiting almost wild violence, taking her bag and rifling through it.

"You had made available to you for use as a sex aid, and as a weapon to subdue her, a rope."

The judge continued: "You put it around her neck whilst pushing her to the ground and then, as she begged for mercy on her knees in the mud you told her to shut up, strangled her with your hands, and slapped her to silence her screams for help.

"You told her she deserved this treatment because of the job she did and that she deserved to die, telling her that you were going to kill her.

"Fortunately you had not managed to silence her. Her screams were heard and a neighbour called the police.

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"It was the public-spirited actions of the witness Richard James Brown which led, through his 999 call, to the arrival of the police and the escape of the victim."

Officers found the 21-year-old victim severely traumatised and despite Fearon running from the scene, he was swiftly identified and arrested.

He left behind rope and yellow cable ties which were similar to those that police found in his shed.

A search was carried out at Fearon's home and similar rope and cable ties recovered from a shed at his address.

Det Sgt Mark Nelson, of Lancaster CID, said: "Connor Fearon is clearly a dangerous man and I am satisfied that today's sentence reflects the gravity of the offending and will protect the public for some time to come."

He said after sentencing: "This must have been an absolutely terrifying and traumatic experience for the victim and I can only dread to think what may have happened had her screams not been heard.

"Connor Fearon is clearly a dangerous man and I am satisfied that today's sentence reflects the gravity of the offending and will protect the public for some time to come."

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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