Hooded campus rapist is jailed for 12 years

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The Independent Online
A hooded rapist calling himself 'Jack The Stripper' who attacked students close to a university campus was jailed yesterday for 12 years.

For 15 months, David Jackson, 28, stalked women walking home from Leeds University to their bedsits in the Hyde Park area of the city.

At Leeds Crown Court, he was found guilty of rape, three indecent assaults, two attempted indecent assaults and four charges of assault causing actual bodily harm after a 14- day trial.

The judge, Mr Justice Harrison, told Jackson: 'You lay in wait for your victims at night time, hooded by a balaclava to obscure your face. You attacked your victims from behind and dragged them into the undergrowth. You then subjected them to terrifying ordeals from which they have not yet fully recovered. You subjected them to sexual indignities. Offences such as these should be punished by a substantial period of imprisonment.' Jackson was found guilty of one indecent assault, two attempted indecent assaults and three assaults causing bodily harm, after the jury took 27 hours to reach verdicts. On Monday, the jurors found him guilty of the other charges, including the rape.

Jackson, of Osmondthorpe, Leeds, who married a month before carrying out the rape, had denied all the charges.

He told the jury that on the night of the first two attacks, in June 1991, he was staying at the house of his fiancee's parents preparing for their church's national conference in Brighton.

Jackson, a member of the New Testament Church of God in Harehills, Leeds, said he and his wife, Jennifer, and their parents always stayed together, shopped together and did everything together before a church conference.

The court was told that between June 1991 and October 1992, Jackson carried out five attacks. On each occasion he ran up to his victim, dragged her off the road and into an area of parkland known as Woodhouse Moor and threatened to kill her.

The court was told that police reached a dead end in their hunt for the attacker. But they had a lucky break when Jackson wrote a letter to the officer in charge of the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Bob Taylor, after reading about another rape in the same area which he was not responsible for.

Jackson accused the other attacker of 'jumping on the bandwagon' and being 'a fool' for showing his face. He signed the letter 'Jack The Stripper'. But handwriting experts picked up an imprint of Jackson's name and address, and DNA evidence also linked him with the crimes.

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