Doncaster beauty spot hooded sex attacker locked up

editorial image

A hooded pervert pounced on a terrified woman jogger and tried to drag her into bushes to sexually assault her near a Doncaster beauty spot.

Drug-fuelled Aaron McGarrigle, aged 22, was jailed for three and a half years for the frightening attack near Denaby Ings on April 2.

Angela Wrottesley, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said the woman was running to Pastures Lodge, near Mexborough via the canal towpath when she was stopped by McGarrigle who asked her for the time.

She told him it was 9am and set off on her way, unaware he was following behind.

Miss Wrottesley said McGarrigle caught up with the woman at the Denaby Ings car park and put his hands on her shoulders ‘forcefully’ before trying to push her into nearby bushes saying: “Come and follow me in here.”

“He put his hands on both of her shoulders dragging her with some force,” said Ms Wrottesley.

“He was grabbing at her shoulders as if trying to push her down.

“She was satisfied he was trying to force her into the bushes.”

McGarrigle failed to get a grip on the runner and through her ‘sheer fortitude’ she managed to escape after pushing him in the chest and shouting: “Get off me.”

When an off-duty police officer drew up in a van by chance, McGarrigle fled to the Earth Centre at Denaby.

Police found him hiding in long grass, sweating.

The court was told in November 2011 McGarrigle was given a six-month jail term for flashing at a female neighbour.

In a victim impact statement the runner said the incident had unnerved her and she was frightened and scared and didn’t want to run in the area where she had been running for three years.

McGarrigle, of St Chad’s Square, Doncaster, admitted assault with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Edward Moss, defending, said McGarrigle had abused drugs of all types and had taken a cocktail of MCAT, cocaine and cannabis on the day.

He was a regular user of amphetamines and spent up to £100 a day on drugs.

“That was the root of his problems for many years,” said Mr Moss.

He added he’d had a ‘troubled upbringing’, had attended several special schools and was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette’s at a young age.

Mr Moss said McGarrigle was being treated for depression and paranoid schizophrenia and had attempted to commit suicide several times in the last 18 months.

“This is clearly a very troubled young man but he is making strides to get himself on the straight and narrow,” he said.

Jailing McGarrigle, Recorder Nicholas Lumley said: “You targeted a lone female in an isolated area.

“You pursued her with one thing in mind, you were intent on committing a sexual offence but she had the strength and courage to push you away.”

McGarrigle was told to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.