'The worst nightmare any female could have': Judge jails teenager who entered house and threatened to rape stranger as she slept alongside her children

A teenager walked into a Wakefield house and threatened to rape a woman who was asleep in her bed as her terrified children looked on, a court was told.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 9:40 pm

The woman was holding her baby and had a toddler next to her when Thomas Batley began throttling and biting her, saying he was doing it "in the name of the Catholic Church".

Prosecuting at Leeds Crown Court, Nick Adlington said that the occupant had been awoken at around 1.50am on Saturday, August 29 last year in extreme pain at her hair being pulled.

She opened her eyes to see the strange man over her bed making the religious comments and telling her to shut up. He bit her right arm as she struggled and clawed at his neck.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Thomas Batley was jailed this week.

He then became angry and grabbed her throat, holding her down on the bed.

All the while, she was holding a one-year-old baby and she feared he was going to strangle her to death.

With one hand on her neck, he sexually assaulted her but she eventually managed to struggle free.

He then told her to "shut the children up" and tried to push the baby out of her arms, before threatening to rape her and began unbuttoning his jeans.

Batley, who was 18 at the time, then went into the bathroom where he stood with his penis in his hand.

The woman grabbed the children and ran into another bedroom where two other women were asleep.

Batley then entered the second bedroom where another struggle ensued and he grabbed the breast of a second woman with such ferocity he dug his nails into her.

He then tried to kiss the third woman, but they eventually calmed him down and they agreed to go downstairs with him.

There he touched the legs of the third woman, running his hands from her feet to her groin as she sat trying to comfort the children.

When he went outside for a cigarette, they were able to lock him out and call the police, but he started banging on the windows and front door, demanding to be let in .

The police then found him in the alleyway behind the house.

He gave a 'no comment' police interview, but all three women picked him out in a line-up.

He claimed he had been to the pub that night with friends and said he was intending to go to the house of a relative, but got the wrong address. He said he had been drinking heavily and taking cocaine.

He said he was not religious, said he had gone to the house mistakenly and that the back door had been left unlocked.

Forensics found that a bite mark on the first woman belonged to him, as did DNA found on her pyjamas.

He initially denied the offences, but in the face of the overwhelming DNA evidence, he admitted two counts of sexual touching, causing actual bodily harm, and trespassing with the intention of committing sexual offences.

He appeared at Leeds Crown Court via video link from prison.

One of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, read out an impact statement in court.

She said: "I have suffered from anxiety and depression.

"I do not feel safe in my own home. I have had locks fitted to all doors and alarms also.

"I'm physically and mentally scarred about what happened in my own home.

"I can't sleep because I'm reliving what happened. I jump if somebody touches me, even my own children."

She said that her three-year-old child has even needed therapy and can not sleep until they have checked all the doors are locked.

Mitigating, Amanda Johnson, told the court that 19-year-old Batley, of Gissings Road, Wakefield, had a difficult upbringing having spent most of his childhood in care.

She said: "He had deep-seated damage which must be treated if possible.

"He acknowledges the enormous distress he has caused to all three victims. He is genuinely remorseful."

The court was also told that he had been diagnosed with a personality disorder.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar jailed Batley for six years and six months and said: "It's the worst nightmare that a female could possibly have.

"Just imagine what was passing through the minds of those young ladies. They were frightened out of their wits.

"They are unlikely to forget this for the rest of their lives.

"It's an attack in their own home where they should have expected to be safe. You were a stranger to them.

"It might be that you were affected by drink or cocaine, but that's no consolation as far as the victims are concerned."