November 2020

Teenage sex strangler freed to attack further victims

A teenage sex attacker who launched three terrifyingly violent sex attacks on young women attacked the second and third victims while on the police’s radar.

Oliver Luke, 18, who wept as he was sentenced, strangled the women and forced them into sex acts both in private and at public areas such as a St Austell cemetery and the grounds of Camborne Conservative Club.

Luke, of Loscombe Lane in Four Lanes near Redruth, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by penetration, sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecuting the case, Peter Coumbe, described how in October last year the first victim, in her mid-20s, was at her home with friends, one of who invited Luke.

The victim and Luke didn’t know each other but when friends left it was just her and Luke in the house.

After asking for a cigarette, Luke followed the woman into the bedroom. She sat on the bed and asked Luke to leave, but he ignored the request, touched her over her clothes and yanked at her belt so hard it broke.

He put his hands around her neck and squeezed so hard she couldn’t breathe during the attack that lasted five minutes.

Luke was arrested and interviewed but released under investigation before he struck again on May 17 of this year in Camborne.

The young victim had been homeless and went to the park drinking with friends where she bumped into Luke, who she had met some time before.

The victim has little recollection but recalls lying on the ground with someone straddling and strangling her.

She could not make out who it was due to a lack of oxygen but eventually managed to make it back to her accommodation naked from the waist down and without her belongings.

DNA later revealed that Luke had penetrated her and witnesses described hearing noises from the grounds of the town’s conservative club.

Six days later, while Luke was on bail for the earlier offence, a 20-year-old was out drinking in St Austell when Luke latched on to her as she made her way home.

Her route home took her through a cemetery. When the victim’s worried partner came looking for her, he found Luke holding the woman against him.

The boyfriend could see Luke’s exposed penis and his partner only had one leg in her trousers and her underwear pulled aside.

The boyfriend then kicked Luke before calling the police after he made off.

During this encounter, and as with the first victim, Luke used the name Olly Isaacs.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Carr said: “In October 2019 you assaulted a woman in her mid-20s who was effectively a stranger to you.

“There was a party at her house and you were brought by others and introduced to her. You deliberately waited until you two were the only ones in the house. You followed her to the bedroom and attacked her, sexually assaulting her over her clothing.

“You strangled her to the point she was unable to breathe, a feature of your attacks on other women.”

Judge Carr moved onto May 17 when he attacked the second victim.

He added: “It is clear the meeting that night was chance and nothing to do with the fact you knew each other from several years before.

“She was out celebrating with friends and walked home on her own. CCTV shows you identify her and following her. There is no doubt you targeted her because of her vulnerability. The next thing she remembers is being on the ground and being strangled. You penetrated her vagina with your finger.

“She was left in such a distressed state she walked home from the scene of the attack naked from the waist down.

“Whilst on bail for the second set of offences you attacked a complete stranger walking home from a place she thought she was safe.

“You no doubt targeted her because she’d been drinking and it is clear you also strangled her before carrying out the assault. It only ended because her partner attempted to retrace her steps of her likely route and caught you during the attack.

“These were brutal and sustained attacks motivated by your sexual desire. It is clear you suffered a dysfunctional and damaging childhood and there is an emotionally unstable personality disorder and elements of PTSD.

“You present a very significant risk to women and may well do so for the rest of your life.”

Luke was jailed for eight years, with an additional three to serve on licence. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life.