Devon

'Evil witch' David Lake jailed for 'sadistic' sex attack

Lake Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption David Lake has been jailed for life for the "sadistic" attack on an Exeter shopkeeper

A self-styled "evil black witch" has been jailed for life for a violent sex attack on a shopkeeper in his 70s.

Former Cambridge University researcher David Lake donned a carnival-style mask before beating his elderly victim unconscious in Exeter.

Lake, 52, of Wellington, Somerset, was convicted of causing GBH with intent, assault by penetration and criminal damage in February.

In sentencing, Judge David Evans described the attack as "sadistic".

Exeter Crown Court heard Lake had initially posed as a customer in the shop in October 2018 before returning with alcohol.

He plied the shopkeeper, who cannot be named, with drink before putting on a gold mask and suddenly turning violent.

Ate woman's flesh

Lake told his victim: "I am a black witch. I am not a nice person. I'm a black sorcerer and I am evil."

The court heard he kicked his victim unconscious before carrying out the serious sexual assault.

Judge Evans ruled Lake to be a danger to the public because he carried out a previous cannibalistic attack where ate a woman's flesh.

He was jailed for life with a minimum term of seven and a half years and will not be released unless it is considered safe to do so.

Judge Evans said: "The victim thought you were going to kill him.

"This assault was sadistic and cruelly targeted at a particular part of his body.

"The victim impact statements from him and his daughter show he is an entirely changed man, both physically and mentally, as a result of his experience at your hands.

"The circumstances of this and the previous offence shows a danger arising from invasive attacks on people's bodies."

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