Sex attacker who targeted lone women in Cardiff jailed

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Media captionJoshua Jolly is filmed following his victims through the streets of Cardiff

A sex attacker who subjected three lone women to "a terrifying ordeal" in separate incidents over 14 months has been jailed for 16 years.

Special forces soldier Joshua Jolly, 27, admitted two counts of assault by penetration and charges of sexual assault and actual bodily harm.

Cardiff Crown Court Recorder Eleri Rees said the offences were "every woman's worst nightmare".

Jolly, of Tonyrefail, will serve an additional six years on licence.

The court heard Jolly's first victim had been on a night out with friends when she was attacked in Penylan, Cardiff, in February last year.

She lost consciousness during the attack and, in a statement to Cardiff Crown Court, said she "had a part of me taken away that I'll never get back".

She said she was left "mentally exhausted" and was "a shell of the person I was".

Another woman was attacked in Grangetown after visiting the cinema in October and she said she no longer walked anywhere alone and was gripped by panic and anxiety.

'Profound impact'

Image caption Joshua Jolly targeted all three women in the early hours of the morning

The third victim was attacked in April as she walked to work in Cardiff in the early hours and suffered head injuries.

Statements from the three women were read to the court describing the emotional pain Jolly has caused them.

"Since the moment this man attacked me I have had flashbacks," one woman said.

"Every time I close my eyes the images play out in front of me in slow motion like a horror movie."

Another said the attack "totally affected me and the way I go about my life".

She added: "I have always been care free and sociable but now I don't want to go out. It has disconnected me from friends because I can't bear the thought of them looking at me differently."

'Worst nightmare'

Jailing Jolly, of Collwyn Street, Judge Rees said: "Each time you targeted a woman walking on her own in the early hours of the morning.

"You targeted her in order to sexually assault her and used violence and force to achieve that end.

"You subjected each woman to a terrifying ordeal which is every woman's worst nightmare.

"Though the attacks were short lived the impact will remain with the victims for a considerable time, possibly even for the rest of their lives."

In mitigation, Jolly's defence argued that his service in Afghanistan had contributed to his offending as it had left him with a profoundly debilitating mental disorder.

BBC Wales understands he served with the elite Special Forces Support Group, which is based at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Army said that "in line with normal procedure, when a soldier is sentenced to imprisonment" Jolly's retention would be considered.

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