Alley attacker sentence cut on apppeal

A man who tried to rape a student in an alleyway in Cleckheaton has had his minimum jail term slashed to three years.

Craig Best, 37, was put behind bars indefinitely – with a minimum of four years to serve – after he admitted attempted rape at Leeds Crown Court in June.

But lawyers for Best, of no fixed abode, claimed the sentence was "manifestly excessive" and brought his case to London's Court of Appeal. Three senior judges agreed, and cut the minimum term to three years.

Mr Justice Silber told the court Best was released from prison in March 2010, after he was jailed for robbery at Leeds Crown Court in 2008.

He was sent to a hostel in Cleckheaton but did not get on with the hostel's other residents. On one of his first days at the centre, he was seen drunk on the streets by a support worker.

Later that night, he pulled a young student into a back alley and attacked her pretending to have a knife.

The judge said Bestalready had 49 previous convictions at the time of

the offence.

But his lawyers said the four-year minimum term was too long.

Police are appealing for information.

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