A SEX attacker has been jailed for five years after a sickening assault on a woman he had met just minutes before.
Carn Burke, 24, admitted forcing himself on the woman when he was drunk in the early hours of March 31, as she stopped to take off her shoes in a shop doorway.
Passers-by witnessed Burke pushing against the woman near some shop shutters and thought they were a couple getting into “rather public sexual activity.” But one man noticed the woman was crying and trying to make eye contact with him and intervened, separating the pair and putting an end to the attack.
Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, told the court the young woman, who lives in Lancaster, had been out in Morecambe with her father but had become separated from her family.
Burke approached the woman as she adjusted her shoes and tried to kiss her before asking her to go home with him When she pulled away and said she had a boyfriend he persisted, committing a serious sexual assault against her as she tried to push him away. Seeing her distress a passer-by took hold of Burke by the arm, allowing the woman to escape to safety in a nearby taxi office.
Burke was arrested at the scene and told officers he was extremely drunk and did not remember much of the incident. He later pleaded guilty to sexual assault at Preston Crown Court.
The court heard Burke, of Mount Avenue, Lancaster, had a number of previous convictions, including two for violence against women, but this was the first sexual offence he had been convicted of.
At the time of the offence Burke said he was struggling with aspects of his family life and had turned to drink after two years of abstinance.