July 2020

Sex attacker is jailed for eight years

A thug has been jailed for eight years after he sneaked into a young mum’s home and strangled her until she passed out – then sexually assaulted her while one of her children in the same room.

Daniel Delooze, 30, entered his sleeping victim’s house through an unlocked door in the early hours of the morning.

The woman woke to find Delooze standing by the side of her bed, before he inflicted a ‘disturbing’ attack.

She could hear him ‘rambling’ while he throttled her, but could only make out a handful of words, including ‘kill’.

Thankfully her children were asleep but one was even in the same room as the mum during the ‘terrifying’ assault.

After the woman fell unconscious, Delooze molested her – although the exact nature of this attack remains unclear.

The victim woke at around 6am in her home in Warrington, Cheshire, to find she had more than 20 separate injuries across her body.

These included injuries to her neck, jaw, chest, arms and legs, yet she had no idea who it was that had attacked her.

However, Delooze had left DNA evidence on the mum’s pyjama bottoms, duvet, and a child’s top in an open divan drawer.

He pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault in a trial at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this month.

Simon Parry, prosecuting, said after the attack the bewildered woman contacted police and went to a sexual assault referral centre.

She was seen by a doctor, who confirmed that her injuries were consistent with non-fatal strangulation and ‘a high level of violence’.

Prosecutors said Delooze travelled from his home in Hindley Green, Greater Manchester, to the woman’s house, before sneaking inside at around 2am.

Detectives examined CCTV footage and were able to show a hooded man walking past the woman’s house, smoking and drinking, and carrying a rucksack.

He stood outside smoking a cigarette before walking towards the house and out of view, and wasn’t seen on camera again until around half an hour later.

Using various video clips, police were able to track his escape route and estimate his height – 5ft 9in – but the ‘key evidence’ was the DNA later recovered.

When arrested and interviewed by police, Delooze insisted he had been at home with his partner and their child on the night of the attack.

Delooze, of Nixon Phillips Drive, Hindley Green, then offered an explanation for the DNA evidence, which cannot be reported for legal reasons.

He was cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, but found guilty of the lesser offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm, and sexual assault.

The woman told the court her experience was ‘horrendous’ and she no longer felt safe in her own home.

In a victim impact statement she said: ‘What really took place that night might remain unclear for the rest of my life.

‘I can’t help but think that I could easily have died as a result of this incident. It’s difficult to comprehend.

‘I’m not sure how I will manage on my own in the house with the children. I will be terrified – especially during the evenings.

‘I want to wake up from it all, I want it all to be a nightmare. This was an unprovoked, violent attack – it was truly horrendous.’

Delooze, who has previous convictions including assault causing actual bodily harm in 2010, still maintains his innocence.

Lloyd Morgan, defending, said there was another side to his client, who was described by others as ‘trustworthy and honest’.

Judge Brian Cummings told Delooze: ‘It barely needs stating that strangling another person is a highly dangerous attack.

‘It was entirely foreseeable that this could have resulted in death or catastrophic injuries.

‘You strangled her unconscious and abandoned her alone in that state in the middle of the night, and it is a matter of pure fortune that her injuries are not more serious than they already are.

‘The presence of children in the house is a serious aggravating factor.

‘I can offer the victim no closure on precisely what happened to her when she was unconscious.’

The judge ruled that Delooze was a dangerous offender, as defined in law, and would receive an extended sentence.

Judge Cummings said: ‘I’m satisfied that you present a significant risk of committing further offences and that such offences carry a high risk of serious harm to members of the public.

‘I’ve been struck by the very serious and disturbing nature of this case, and how readily you were prepared to act in this way.’

Judge Cummings jailed Delooze for eight years, with an extended two years on licence, and told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

This means Delooze will spend at least two-thirds of the sentence – five years and four months – behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

He will only be released before the end of the eight-year term if he is no longer considered to be a risk to the public.

Judge Cummings also imposed an indefinite restraining order to protect the victim.