Man jailed after young woman heroically fights off sex attack

He was left bruised and battered


A man has been jailed following an attack on a young woman in the early hours of November 1 this year.

Johnothan Holmes followed his victim through the city centre before dragging her into bushes and trying to rape her.

He has been sentenced to over four years.

The violent sexual attack was stopped by the impressive courage of his victim, who managed to fight back by hitting him repeatedly with her keys and biting down on his tongue.

The extraordinarily brave 21-year-old woman told Sheffield Crown Court: “I believed without a doubt his man was going to rape me.

Holmes left bruised after the attack

Holmes left bruised after the attack

“My life would have been over – he might as well have killed me right there.

“I was so terrified but so angry.”

After being followed home from the city centre at midnight and attempting several times to avoid him, she put her keys in her hand and was able to punch him after being pushed into bushes close to the Nuffield gym.

Rachael Harrison, prosecuting, said the young woman manoeuvred herself into a position over her attacker where she had her keys held to his neck and throat.

Holmes, aged 35, of Valentine Road, finally ran away and jumped over nearby railings when his victim’s cries for help were heard by passers-by.

He injured himself in the process.

The attacker was found by police later that night at 1:30am and claimed to have no recollection of the events.

He was caught on CCTV in Sheffield city centre earlier that night hiding behind walls and watching for lone women, following an evening of drinking.

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CCTV footage has been released

Holmes was sentenced to four years and six months in jail at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday after previously admitting sexual assault.

Sentencing, Judge Sarah Wright told Holmes she had “no doubt whatsoever” he had deliberately targeted the young woman.

She noted the impressive manner in which the young woman handled the attack, saying she had “fought back with considerable bravery and courage.”