A convicted rapist who spent more than seven hours prowling around a Preston toy shop, before exposing himself to a seven-year-old girl, told probation officers he wanted to go back to prison after spending most of his adult life behind bars.
Leslie Foster, 63, was jailed for life after being convicted of a knifepoint rape in 1978 while he was a patient at Whittingham Hospital in Preston.
But he had only been in the community for 15 months when he caught a bus into Preston with a plan to approach a young child in the city’s largest toy shop.
On February 1, he was seen entering the Toys ‘R’ Us store in Deepdale at least six times, making attempts to change his appearance with a different hat and glasses. He later admitted admitted exposing himself and inciting a girl into engage in sexual activity.
Judge Michael Byrne, sentencing at Preston Crown Court yesterday, said: “One of the most concerning features of this case is that notwithstanding the various courses the defendant underwent while in custody, he did not feel able to resist his urges to the extent that this present offence occurred less than 15 months after his release from prison.”
In 1966, Foster was convicted of indecent assault and making indecent telephone calls to a woman aged over 16.
Later that year he was convicted of indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl he spotted walking alone in South Ribble.
The following year he brutally attacked a 78-year-old woman who would not stop screaming as a he tried to rape her and he was sent to Whittingham hospital in Preston under a hospital order.
But in 1978 the court heard, as he got off a bus he spotted a lone 19-year-old woman, followed her and raped her at knife-point.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment for that offence and while in prison completed four programmes to address his sexual offending.
But within months of his release he was seen at Deepdale Retail Park having travelled from his home in Spendmore Lane, Coppull, looking for a child to approach.
On February 1, Foster was seen on CCTV entering Toys ‘R Us at least seven times between 9.50 am and 4.15pm, seemingly making efforts to disguise his appearance with a different hat and glasses.
A young girl who was visiting the shop with her dad came upon Foster in an aisle filled with dolls.
Paul Cummings, prosecuting, told the court Foster exposed his genitals to the girl and offered her a pound to show him her underwear,
Foster then told the frightened youngster he would buy her anything in the shop if she did what he asked.
The girl ran away and was found by shop assistant Simon Swain who said the girl was tearful and looking for her father.
An appeal in the Evening Post led to the identification of Foster.
Judge Byrne jailed Foster for five years and four months with an extended three year licence period.
He said: “At this day you are considered to represent a significant risk to the public of serious harm.”