A "DANGEROUS" man who sexually assaulted a woman and refused to let her leave as she tried to flee has been jailed.

Robert Shepherd's victim had visited his Leigh home on Tuesday, September 26, last year, "to complete checks for her profession".

He began touching his victim and launched his vile attack on her.

The address was described as being dark with no lights on. The victim was led into the front room where she began to complete their online forms.

Shepherd then started to touch the victim to which the victim has warned him not to.

Shepherd then threatened he was "going to rip her trousers and knickers off".

The victim attempted to flee the address but the front door was locked. Shepherd pushed his hand against the door to prevent the victim from leaving while he continued to touch the victim.

Leigh Journal: Shepherd was sentenced at Bolton Crown CourtShepherd was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

The victim pleaded for him to stop and let her out, but he did not.

Police said it was only when the victim was "screaming hysterically" that she managed to push Shepherd out of the way and unlock the door.

She then made her way to the safety of her car and called police.

Shepherd, 60, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court yesterday, Friday, January 26, to three years in custody and three years on licence.

He signed a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order after pleading guilty at his first court hearing on Thursday, November 2, 2023 to false imprisonment and sexual assault.

READ > More than £1k of counterfeit cigarettes seized from shop

Detective Sergeant Sean Goddard, of GMP’s Wigan Division, said: “The victim has been extremely brave throughout the process and I would like to commend her on her tenacity to support the investigation and provide information when required to do so in order to bring the defendant to justice.

“Shepherd is a dangerous offender who sexually assaulted his victim for his own sexual gratification in what must have been a traumatic experience.

"The victim has experienced a huge trauma due to this incident where she has been unable to return to work, is struggling to leave her property and is in the process of selling her vehicle due to the memories it brings back when going in it.

“She continues to be supported by her employer and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

“I hope the sentence sends a strong message to the public that we will pursue all available lines of Inquiry to ensure we can bring justice to victims of serious sexual assaults.”

Support Available

If you or someone you know has been a victim of rape or sexual assault, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

You can also report information and crimes on our website (www.gmp.police.uk) using the 'report' tool. Alternatively, you can report information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

There are also lots of organisations and support agencies available across Greater Manchester that can help and provide support for you. For more information on rape and serious sexual assault and the support services available to you, please visit our support pages.

Support for Rape and Sexual Assault:

St. Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre - Manchester provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated response to men, women and children who live or have been sexually assaulted within Greater Manchester. They offer forensic medical examinations, practical and emotional support as well as a counselling service for all ages. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and can be accessed by calling 0161 276 6515.

Greater Manchester Rape Crisis - is a confidential information, support and counselling service run by women for women over 18 who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives. Call on 0161 273 4500 or email help@manchesterrapecrisis.co.uk

Survivors Manchester - provides specialist trauma informed support to male victims in Greater Manchester who have experienced sexual abuse, rape, or sexual exploitation. Call 0161 236 2182.

Support for Domestic Abuse:

Providing domestic abuse support and guidance.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Free 24-hour helpline, guidance and support for victims.

National Centre for Domestic Violence
Provides a free service that lets anyone who has recently suffered from, or been threatened with, domestic abuse apply for an emergency court injunction.

Victim Support
Free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family and friends with 24-hour live chat and helpline available.

Women’s Aid Domestic Violence Helpline
Free 24-hour national helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge.