Blackpool 'sexual predator' jailed for rape attacks

Paul Mansfield Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Police said Mansfield befriended the "clearly intoxicated and vulnerable" victims and promised to help them

A "dangerous sexual predator" who raped a woman and attempted to rape another in separate attacks in Blackpool has been jailed.

Paul Mansfield, 28, of no fixed address, denied the charges but was found guilty at Preston Crown Court and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Police said he befriended the "clearly intoxicated and vulnerable" victims, promising to help them.

The two attacks took place in 2014, the second while he was on bail for rape.

'Even more disturbing'

Police said Mansfield befriended a 20-year-old homeless woman and promised to give her somewhere safe to stay in the early hours of 17 June.

He took her to a flat on Charnley Road in the resort but when the victim tried to go to sleep, Mansfield raped her, biting her neck and striking her face during the attack.

She managed to escape and ran to Blackpool police station to report the attack.

Mansfield struck a second time on 9 September when he befriended a woman, 21, from Glasgow on a night out in the resort, said police.

She had become separated from her boyfriend after an argument, said police, and Mansfield offered to take her back to her hotel in a taxi.

Police said they ended up on Loftus Avenue where he dragged her down an alley and attempted to rape her.

She managed to push him off and run away, said police.

Lancashire Constabulary's Det Con Lisa Wainwright said Mansfield was a "dangerous sexual predator" who targeted his victims when they were intoxicated.

She said it was disturbing that he used the guise of befriending them when he had "clear intentions of assaulting them to satisfy his own sexual urges".

Mansfield was also found guilty of two sexual assaults and supplying Class A drugs, for which he was sentenced to two years to run concurrently.

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