January 2005

Rapist caught – after 13 years


A SEX attacker who tried to rape a teenage girl in Huddersfield almost 13 years ago has been jailed – thanks to advances in DNA profiling.

Samples of Andrew McMullen’s semen were recovered during police investigations into the appalling attack in February, 1992.

But it was only last September that improvements in DNA technology led to him being arrested and charged with attempted rape.

McMullen, who was 17 when he committed the offence, pleaded guilty to the charge in October. And at Bradford Crown Court yesterday he was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

During the hearing it was revealed that five months after the attack on the 17-year-old, McMullen, who is now 29 and married, was ordered to pay compensation for indecently assaulting another young girl.

And in December, 1996, he was sentenced to three years’ detention for indecently assaulting a 19-year-old victim in the early hours.

In a statement to police last September the victim of the attempted rape, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, described how she had suffered 12 years of misery following the attack.

She said she would have to live with the effects for the rest of her life.

McMullen, of Ashfield Street, Fartown, will have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, also banned him from ever working with children.

Prosecutor Giles Bridge told the court the 17-year-old had been walking to work one morning when McMullen confronted her on an isolated footpath at Springwood.

The girl tried to run away, but was grabbed from behind and pushed to ground.

McMullen then sat astride the struggling girl and after ripping her top asked: “Does it turn you on?” before kissing one of her breasts.

Mr Bridge said the girl was frightened and feared that she might die.

He added: “She describes how she was struggling throughout and how she was shouting `No’.”

McMullen tried to force the girl’s legs apart and had simulated sex on top of her.

When McMullen was questioned last year he said he had no recollection of the events.

His barrister, Stephen Wood, conceded: “Although we are now approaching the 13th anniversary of what happened to this victim it was clearly an appalling incident which has had long-lasting effects upon her – and understandably so.”‘

But he said McMullen was entitled to very significant credit for his early guilty plea, which meant that the victim would not have to come to court to relive the events.

Mr Wood also said that following his release from the three-year sentence McMullen had not been convicted of any further sex offences.

He added that the sentence imposed in 1996 had the desired effect of punishment upon McMullen and the desired effect of deterrence, he told Judge Gullick.

Mr Wood said McMullen was using drink and drugs at the time of the offence in 1992, but they were no longer an issue in his life.

Sentencing McMullen, Judge Gullick said the victim must have been absolutely terrified during the attack.

She had believed at one stage that she was not going to survive, the judge added.