Passer-by stops rapist by punching him in face and putting him in chokehold

The judge has put forward the brave passer-by for formal recognition.

Emily Atkinson
Saturday 16 October 2021 18:22
<p>Steven Lequesne, 23, had "preyed" on a lone vulnerable woman who had been on a night out in the town.</p>

Steven Lequesne, 23, had "preyed" on a lone vulnerable woman who had been on a night out in the town.

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A passer-by stopped a rapist by punching him in the face and putting him in chokehold as he “preyed” on a “defenceless” woman who had been on a night out in Southport.

Christopher Fletcher, who was passing by, heard the woman scream “no” and punched Steven Lequesne, 23 - earning him praise from a Liverpool Crown Court judge.

Robert Wyn Jones, prosecuting, said the victim had been drinking at the Metropole Hotel in Portland Street earlier that night.

She was joined by Lequesne in the pub and they remained together after the pub shut, before walking through Southport railway station after 1am.

Mr Wyn Jones said the woman had been drunk.

The court was presented with a CCTV clip which showed an “altercation” between the pair, resulting in the woman trying to get away.

Mr Wyn Jones said: “She runs off to the left and he pursues her. She is fighting him off and is pulled backwards to the ground.”

Later on in the clip, Lequesne is seen attacking her in the bushes of a car park.

Recorder Matthew Corbett-Jones said: “It was only when a brave member of the public came to her rescue that her ordeal came to an end.

“Christopher Fletcher showed all the qualities of a brave, decent, upstanding member of the community in tackling you and summoning the police.”

The judge told Lequesne: “It’s plain to see you had seized this opportunity when she was alone and vulnerable to prey on her.

“This was a brutal and terrifying attack on a defenceless woman, in order for you to satisfy your desire for sexual gratification, which I have no doubt will cast a shadow across the rest of her life.”

Lequesne was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in jail, with a further four years and 6 months on licence.

Mr Fletcher is being put forward for formal recognition on the recommendation of the judge.

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