Dorset

Craig Perkins jailed for Bournemouth students sex assaults

Carl Perkins Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Perkins was ordered to serve at least two third of his sentence in prison and will remain on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

A "dangerous sexual predator" who assaulted two students in separate street attacks has been jailed.

Craig Perkins, 29, grabbed the women as they walked alone near Bournemouth University.

He was arrested after being identified by a witness who came to the second victim's aid.

Perkins, who pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault, was jailed for five and half years at Bournemouth Crown Court.

During the first attack, in September 2016, he pulled down the woman's trousers and underwear before pushing her to the ground, police said.

He rode away from the scene, on Boundary Road, on his bike after the woman, in her 20s, screamed.

In the second case, in November, he sexually assaulted a woman after grabbing her close to the Boundary Road footbridge.

Perkins, of Victorian Road, Bournemouth, was arrested after the witness identified him, and after CCTV footage of him riding away on his bicycle was found.

In victim impact statements read to the court, one woman said: "The night it happened I cried the whole night and had to ask someone to call the police for me."

She added: "I paid £10 for a rape alarm which I keep with me every day. I feel I need to see a counsellor for my mental health. I felt very afraid and cried so much."

Det Ch Insp Sarah Derbyshire, of Dorset Police, said: "Craig Perkins is a dangerous sexual predator and I hope the sentence handed out by the court will reassure the public that he can no longer cause harm to other women in our community.

"Perkins' actions have had a life-changing impact on his victims who say they no longer feel safe."

He was ordered to serve at least two third of his sentence in prison and will remain on the sex offenders register indefinitely.