Leeds sex offender who kidnapped schoolgirl at knife-point carried out chillingly similar attack on young woman three years earlier

Dangerous sex offender Nathan Rawson was convicted of a sexual assault on a young woman three years before he kidnapped a 15-year-old schoolgirl at knife-point in Leeds.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 11:45 am

Rawson’s attack on the woman in a street in Burley bore chilling similarities to the attack he would go on to commit against the schoolgirl in Burmantofts.

He travelled to an area of Leeds away from where he lived, deliberately targeted a lone female on a winter morning only to be foiled by an act of bravery.Rawson was given an extended prison sentence of 13 years and eight months at Leeds Crown Court on Monday (May 10)

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, unlawful wounding, committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence, possession of an offensive weapon and two counts of burglary.

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Nathan Rawson (pictured bottom right) was convicted of a sexual assault in 2017.

The court heard how the girl showed outstanding courage to disarm the 25-year-old when he grabbed her and forced her to go into bushes with him at knife-point.

The youngster fought back, grabbed the knife and managed to take photos of him using her mobile phone as she fled to safety

The images led to his arrest after they were used in a police appeal to catch the attacker.

Five years ago, in February 2016, Rawson stalked a young woman through the streets before grabbing hold of her as she screamed for help.

Nathan Rawson is now serving an extended prison sentence of 13 years and eight months.

Rawson fled when two workers at a nearby Co-op store noticed him trailing his victim and intervened.

Their public spirited actions were praised by a judge after Rawson was found guilty of sexual assault in 2017.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported how Rawson was brought to justice thanks to the quick thinking of Andrew Parkinson and Paul Muscroft after they saw him stalking one of their customers.

Mr Parkinson spotted the danger when he went outside for a cigarette break after serving Rawson at the store on Cardigan Road, Burley.

Co-op workers Paul Muscroft and Andrew Parkinson, pictured in 2017, stopped Rawson as he sexually assaulted a woman in Burley.

Rawson, then aged 20, hid in a phone box and watched as the victim headed out of the 24-hour store at 6am and followed her.

Father-of-four Mr Parkinson, 45, got into his car and drove in search of the woman, stopping to alert Mr Muscroft, 40, who was on his way to work to start the early shift.

The victim realised she was being followed when she reached Beechwood Crescent and headed down a side street in order to get away from him.

Rawson ran up and grabbed her from behind.

How the Yorkshire Evening Post reported Nathan Rawson's conviction for a sex assault in 2016.

He put his hand over the woman’s mouth when she started to scream.

The attack ended when Mr Parkinson and Mr Muscroft heard the screams and ran to the victim’s aid.

Rawson ran off but dropped a passion fruit drink bottle he had bought in the store.

He was arrested after the pair recovered the bottle and it was found to contain Rawson’s DNA.

Rawson denied sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury and jailed for 18 months.

Judge Guy Kearl QC praised Mr Parkinson and Mr Muscroft for helping the victim

He told Rawson: “Both deserve praise for their brave and public-spirited actions. They were seeking to protect her and they caused you to run. This was no doubt a terrifying incident for her.”

After the case, Mr Parkinson, from Castleford, told the YEP: “I realised he was up to something as he was pretending to be drunk and then as soon as he saw her walking away he acted normal and walked up behind her..

“I’m glad we were able to stop him before the attack got any worse."

Father-of-three Mr Muscroft said: “A lot of people these days just turn a blind eye to bad things happening around them. But we are not like that.”

The pair were presented with a plaque by their employers to mark their bravery.