March 2021

Keighley pervert stalked schoolgirl for half a mile then sexually attacked her

A sex predator who followed a West Yorkshire schoolgirl for half a mile before sexually attacking her has been locked up for three years and two months.

The girl who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was sexually assaulted by Callum Lawson in Scott Lane near Riddlesden, Keighley, in March 2019 and a judge heard today the attack had completely changed her life over the past two years.

In a victim impact statement, the teenager described how she had suffered panic attacks, flashbacks and paranoia and had also undergone specialist trauma therapy.

Bradford Crown Court heard the victim suspected she was being followed that tea-time and stopped to let Lawson go by, but as she set off walking again, the teenager came jogging towards her and put his hand up her skirt.

The complainant stumbled into a bush, but managed to shove Lawson away and he ran off towards a nearby tennis club.

Prosecutor Chloe Hudson said the police were alerted after the complainant arrived home in a distressed state and a potential suspect was identified from DNA on her tights.

Miss Hudson said an anonymous call to Crimestoppers giving Lawson’s name led to his arrest almost a year after the attack.

Lawson, 19, of Cartmel Road, Keighley, initially denied being responsible saying he was not that kind of guy and not a pervert.

Later in his interview however Lawson he said he vaguely remembered what he had done, but said he didn’t know why.

“If I were her dad I’d want to kick the **** out of me,” Lawson said.

The court heard that while he was on bail for the sex assault Lawson went on to assault two paramedics who attended at a house in Back Rupert Street, Keighley, in July last year.

Lawson, who was under the influence of drink or drugs, became aggressive and threatening towards the paramedics after they tried to help him when he was found unconscious in the living room of the house.

The paramedics had to leave the house until the police arrived and Lawson was put in leg restraints when he became aggressive and agitated again as he waited for a police van.

Lawson was locked up in a young offenders institution for a total of 38 months after he admitted the sexual assault and the two allegations of assaulting an emergency worker.

Judge Andrew Hatton said the complainant in the sexual assault had set off walking because she didn’t have enough money for the bus.

He said he was satisfied that the girl had suffered “severe psychological harm” as a result of the attack and it had involved a significant degree of planning.

“You purposefully and with determination followed your victim, changed your route and ensured you were in the right place to attack her at what was for you the right time,” said Judge Hatton.

The judge said Lawson was undoubtedly under the influence of alcohol at the time and the attack had taken place in a secluded location.

Lawson was sentenced to 32 months detention in a young offenders institution for the sexual assault with an additional six months detention for the two assaults on emergency workers.