Young woman set to watch her sex attacker be sentenced for attempted rape after tracking him down on FACEBOOK

January 11, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

A young woman who tracked down her sex attacker using Facebook today (11/1) watched as he was jailed for seven years.

Chanel Purchase (21) after leaving the Crown Court in Maidstone today (SWNS Group)

Chanel Purchase (21) after leaving the Crown Court in Maidstone today (SWNS Group)

But Chanel Purchase, 21, was left in flood of tears when her attacker’s family hurled abuse at her as he was jailed for trying to rape her.

Seconds after Judge Martin Joy handed James Huggett, 22, the sentence, screaming could be heard from the public gallery.

Huggett’s friends and family shouted “I love you James” as he was led away before they turned their attention to his victim.

But Chanel, who has waived her right to anonymity, was left in floods of tears as one woman said “I’m out to get you, just watch out.”

After the group were escorted out of the court by security, paramedics had to be called after the defendant’s mother collapsed

Before the drama unfolded at Maidstone crown court (11/1) Judge Martin Joy rejected the defence’s application to adjourn sentencing while a psychiatric report was completed.
MASONS_FACEBOOK_RAPE_05Sentencing him he said: “The facts of the case are that Chanel Purchase was walking some time after midnight in the High Street in Sheerness with the intention of meeting up with some friends.

“You have spoken to her and undoubtedly she spoke to you. However, you would not leave it there and remained with her.

“It was clear from the evidence that she simply did not know how to shake you off or deal with you.

“You tried to persuade her to to come to your house.

“She refused and made that abundantly clear. She decided to go home and you made the clear decision to walk with her.

“It wasn’t a short walk and you made very clear your intentions during that walk.

“On that walk you tried to put her hand down your trousers or lower clothing and on to your penis.

“You made it absolutely plain what you wanted from her and she wasn’t interested. She was a stranger to you. She gave you no encouragement and she positively discouraged you.

“She got to within four doors of her own house. It was a dark street and there was a place where a street light was malfunctioning.

“That was when you decided to attack her. You forced her to the ground so that she was on her back and pulled down all of her lower clothing down. It was quite clear that your penis was erect.”

The image of James Huggett that Chanel Purchase found on social media that police used to track down her attempted rapist (SWNS Group)

The image of James Huggett that Chanel Purchase found on social media that police used to track down her attempted rapist (SWNS Group)

He continued: “Your penis was thrusting between her legs with the intention of entering her vagina. She was struggling and screaming.

“When she screamed and they were heard you ran off. So You got very close to the completion of a rape.

“Your defence was that it was someone else who did this and that was fairly absurd.

“You clearly intended to rape her without a condom attacking her in the street. Forcing her to the ground.”

Judge Joy classified Huggett as a dangerous offender and said he could not order a psychiatric report because there had been no evidence presented to suggest he had any learning or mental health issues.

He added: “You have targeted this young woman on her own, late at night so the location of the offence and the fact that you are targeting her at night are serious factors.

“The court must consider therefore where you pose a significant risk to the public by the conviction of further such offences. I have accepted that this was an attempted rape and not a completed one.

“That said this was prolonged attack when she couldn’t get away from you. It was a sustained attack on her.”

Chanel spent hours trawling through social media in April 2014, trying to find James Huggett, 22.

The pair had met earlier that night outside a nightclub in Sheerness, Kent.

He walked her back to her house and launched himself on her just metres from her front door.

Chanel fought back and he fled when she struggled and screamed.

After the attack she called the police but determined to see Huggett brought to justice she turned to Facebook to track him down.

During the conversation they had on the way back to her house he mentioned some mutual friends they had.

She used this information and turned to the social media website, spending hours looking through photos, before she found her attackers.

The minute she discovered a photo of him she called the police, who arrested Huggett the next day.

During the trial at Maidstone crown court last year he maintained his innocence and claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Then changed his story and admitted seeing her on the night but denied.

This plea was rejected by the jury.

Huggett will be eligible for parole after two thirds of his sentence.

He was also told he would spend a further three years on licence after release from jail.

No sexual prevention order was made by the court.

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