Sex beast tears off schoolgirl’s knickers and then sexually assaults woman, 20, at same Stoke-on-Trent bus stop in space of 15 minutes
‘Out-of-control’ sex offender Jason Potts attempted to strangle an 11-year-old schoolgirl at a bus stop and then pounced on two other lone women.
The 29-year-old targeted the complete strangers within the space of an hour after darkness fell in Hanley.
It was only when passers-by intervened that each of the terrified victims managed to break free from his brutal clutches. He was arrested later that evening after he matched the description of the offender.
Now he has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and will be subject to a five-year extended licence on his release.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the frenzied attacks happened shortly after police were called to Bethesda Street on January 10 following reports of a collision between a cyclist and bus.
Potts had been riding the bike and appeared intoxicated. Officers spoke to him, but he then left the scene.
Minutes later, at around 6pm, he returned to the same street. The 11-year-old girl – who was wearing her school uniform – had been shopping with friends and was waiting alone to catch a bus home.
The defendant appeared muttering swear words and sat next to her at the bus stop.
Prosecutor Ben Lawrence said: “He hugged her round her hips. She squirmed away from him. He swiftly jumped at her, causing her to stumble to the floor and land on her back.
“He started choking her with both hands. He tore her knickers off. He said, ‘come here, you sexy bitch’.”
The girl put up a brave struggle, but he managed to climb on top of her. Mercifully, her screams for help alerted several members of the public, who came to her aid. Potts ran off, leaving his bike at the scene.
Yet just 15 minutes later, Potts brazenly returned to the very same bus stop and spied his next victim, a 20-year-old student.
The defendant started staring at her. He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into the middle of the street. Pinning her down, he tried to strangle her before sexually assaulting her. He then punched and kicked her.
He was caught in the act by another passer-by who heard the victim’s cries. He ran off into Bethesda Gardens.
Potts’ final victim – a woman in her mid-30s – was walking along nearby Clough Street. He was lying in wait by a tree and grabbed her from behind in a choke-hold.
“He punched her in the jaw,” said Mr Lawrence. “She was terrified and screaming. Again, people came to her assistance and he ran off.”
In their victim impact statements, the three females revealed they have been plagued by flashbacks, sleepless nights and fears of going out alone.
Two of them picked out Potts, of John Smart Close, Cliffe Vale, at an identity parade.
He has now pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment of the 11-year-old girl, false imprisonment with intent to commit a sexual offence, assault by penetration, battery, and battery with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Jailing him, Judge Paul Glenn told the defendant: “You targeted three lone females within a short period. You violently assaulted all three to obtain sexual gratification.”
He said they were subjected to ‘terrifying experiences’. And branding Potts a dangerous offender, he warned he represented a significant risk to other women.
Judge Glenn also praised the valiant actions of four passers-by who intervened and is now recommending they each receive a £250 reward.