Hike sentence

Attacker caught by DNA after three decades sees sentence increased

A man who was ultimately framed by DNA evidence and imprisoned more than three decades after committing ‘the most serious example of indecent assault’ on a teenager has had his five-year sentence increased.

Raymond Ellis chased his 17-year-old victim before dragging her along a passage behind Skinnerthorpe Road in Sheffield and assaulting her in March 1987.

Ellis, now 63, from Eastville, was sentenced by Bristol Crown Court in May 2022 to five years in prison for the brutal attack which has since ‘ruined’ the victim’s life, said court of Appeal.

His sentence was overturned on Friday and he will now serve seven and a half years in prison after an appeal by the attorney general who argued that the original sentence had been unduly lenient.

The driving here was at the highest level

The appeals court said his original sentence could have been set from a starting point of 10 years in prison with a reduction for his guilty plea, rather than nine years and four months with reductions that reduced it to five years.

Lady Justice Carr said ‘the conduct here was at the highest level’ for an indecent assault as it was a sustained attack involving both the use and threat of violence.

There was also the use of a weapon, physical injuries, restraint, the targeting of a lone victim late at night who was dragged through an alley.

This was all done while Ellis, who had previously attacked another girl in an alley, was on probation for a burglary in 1986.

Ellis dragged the teenager into an alley, tied her up with her own underwear and assaulted her.

She had gone to the pub with some friends and decided to walk home, but Ellis had followed her.

She picked up her pace and realized that Ellis was following her but he “matched him”.

The teenager started running but lost her shoe and Ellis used it to punch her in the face and loosened her tooth.

During the attack, the frightened teenager asked Ellis if she was going to kill her.

She also told him she was only 15, “hoping that would change her mind,” the court heard.

The “frightened” victim was still tied up when Ellis fled after the assault.

She managed to get to the phone box and alert the police who, at the time, could not identify her attacker – but a semen stain had been left on her jacket.

Thanks to DNA breakthroughs, decades later police were able to track down Ellis and make a forensic match to the stain on the jacket.

Ellis, who lived in a nursing home, said he had no recollection of his crime as he suffered a brain injury, but pleaded guilty after DNA evidence emerged.

The victim claims the attack ‘ruined her chances in life’ and she is ‘now a shell of herself’, the court heard.

His career prospects are compromised. She takes antidepressants and sleeps poorly, according to her victim impact statement.

Ellis suffers from a schizoaffective mental disorder, but there’s no evidence that it can’t be managed with medication in prison.

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