June 2014

Sex pest cyclist who chased students and joggers through south Manchester streets is jailed

A sex pest who chased female joggers and cyclists through Manchester’s student land has been caged.

Married dad-of-one Robert Blake, 28 – who has a 12-year history of sex crimes – terrorised lone women in south Manchester by stalking them on his bike making obscene remarks.

He was finally snared after he cycled after a terrified student, barged into her building and stared at her groin while hissing, ‘I want to see it’.

The married bricklayer has now been jailed for two years, with an extended licence period of five years, by a judge who said his behaviour was ‘extremely troubling’.

Blake has four previous convictions, dating back to when he was a teenager in Shropshire, for sexual assaults in which lone women were pursued and pushed down before being attacked.

After coming off licence for those offences, Blake began preying again on women in WithingtonFallowfield, and Didsbury. Manchester Crown Court heard he targeted attractive, athletic women in their twenties.

In August and September 13 women complained of being harassed by a foul-mouthed cyclist. Blake was arrested in October riding down Wilmslow Road after a police officer recognised his bike from the women’s descriptions.

Blake, of Gloucester Road, Levenshulme, faced 14 charges, including harassment and sexual touching. While the court heard he had pursued the women, he was cleared of 13 counts because it could not be proven he had intended to commit sexual touching in all but one case.

In that case, Blake cut in front of the woman’s bike outside her Fallowfield apartment block on August 21. He then followed her into the vestibule, came close to her and spouted vulgar sex chat.

Adrian Farrow, prosecuting, told court Blake appeared ‘deadly serious’ as he repeatedly made vile demands at the ‘very frightened’ woman. She escaped him by rushing into the flat but feared he would return as he knew where she lived.

The court heard Blake struggled to control a ‘high sex drive’ in drink.

David Bruce defending, said Blake felt shame and remorse.

But Judge Michael Henshell said: “These offences demonstrate a pattern of behaviour which is a cause of acute concern.”