Bristol

St George serial sex offender jailed for seven-and-a-half years

Nigel Turner
Image caption Nigel Turner attacked three young women in May and November last year

A serial sex offender who terrorised women in the St George area of Bristol has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Nigel Turner, of Bryants Hill, pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court earlier this month to three separate assaults on young women.

On his release from prison, Turner, 33, will spend an additional two and a half years on an extended licence.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

On sentencing Turner at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Neil Ford QC labelled him a "dangerous" offender who left young women at a "high risk" of being attacked.

'Deeply ashamed'

"The fact remains you are unable to restrain yourself from committing these offences," he added.

"You are assessed as a high risk of causing serious harm to young females in the future."

The married engineer, who is still on good terms with his wife, touched his wedding ring but remained emotionless as the sentence was passed.

His victims quietly sobbed in the packed public gallery during the hearing.

Edward Burgess, representing Turner, read out a letter by him: "I wish to express my deepest apologies to my victims and their families.

Image caption Turner wore a black beanie hat and gloves during his attacks in the St George area of the city

"However, I am aware this apology can never make up for what my victims and their families have had to go through. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done."

After the hearing, prosecutor James Ward said the sentence would now "keep the people of Bristol safe from further harm".

The attacks happened in May and November last year.

On 11 May, he attacked a teenager, aged 16, as she walked home in St George. Wearing gloves and a balaclava he assaulted her before her friend pulled her free and they ran off.

He committed a similar offence on another 16-year-old later the same month. He was wearing a beanie hat and again gloves.

Six months later, on 28 November, he grabbed a 24-year-old woman, also in St George. He eventually ran off after being disturbed by a passing car.

After fleeing the scene and returning to his house nearby to dump his disguise, he returned from a different direction and offered to comfort the victim and walk her home.

'Sexual gratification'

In January, a member of Avon and Somerset Police's specialist sexual assault unit, Operation Bluestone Team, spotted Turner standing in Furber Road and followed him home.

When police raided his house they discovered a large quantity of stolen women's underwear and clothes matching those worn by the attacker. They also seized his mobile phone.

Image caption Nigel Turner was caught on CCTV returning to the scene of his final sex attack in November last year

Speaking after sentencing, Det Insp Mike Buck said: "This particular series of sexual assaults left residents living in fear of Nigel Turner. He preyed on lone women for his own sexual gratification.

"He is a predator and I have no doubt if he was not caught he would have gone on to commit a more serious crime.

"The sentence handed to Turner reflects the serious nature of his crimes and I hope it sends out a clear message to all that we will bring offenders of sexual assault to justice."

The Crown Prosecution Service called Turner a "significant threat to the public".

Turner admitted sexual assault, causing someone to engage in sexual activity without their consent, common assault, theft and three counts of voyeurism at an earlier hearing.

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