Leeds tights fetishist attacked pensioner in her own home

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A house burglar with a fetish for women’s tights has been jailed for life after he tried to rape a 70-year-old pensioner in her West Yorkshire home.

Leeds man Nigel Carroll, 53, travelled across the region breaking into homes, but in November last year he subjected a widow to an horrific sex attack in her Brighouse home. Carroll broke into the grandmother’s property at tea-time as she watched television and after he stole some items there was a confrontation between them.

The pensioner told him to go away, but he then climbed back in through a smashed window and attacked her in a bedroom. After removing the woman’s jeans, tights and knickers Carroll put his hand under her bra and attempted to rape her.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Carroll, who has a criminal record going back more than 30 years, did not in fact go through with the rape.

Carroll, of Wykebeck Avenue, Osmondthorpe, was found guilty of the attempted rape and sexual assault following a trial last month. The victim told investigating officers about her ordeal in a video interview within hours of the attack and her evidence was played to the jury during Carroll’s trial even though she subsequently died following an unrelated fall in her home a few weeks after the shocking crime.

Carroll’s previous convictions included offences related to his sexual interest in ladies tights and the police inquiry linked him to other break-ins at homes in Birkenshaw and Leeds where tights had been stolen.

The jury found him guilty of those two offences and Carroll also admitted three further burglaries and two offences of handling stolen goods. The son of the sex attack victim was in court to see Carroll jailed for life and in a moving personal statement on behalf of his family he described how his mother had changed after the attack from a strong-willed woman full of passion and fight into a “mere shell of her former self”.

The court heard that back 2000 Carroll was jailed for 15 years for a series of offences, including outraging public decency and indecent assault, but that sentence was later reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC said: “Your sexual proclivities involved a very unhealthy interest in female underwear and tights in particular,” noted Judge Thomas.

“You are somebody who causes me, in coming to sentence you now, the greatest concern in terms of your future behaviour and the sort of risk you pose to the public at large and in particular to the elderly female population.”

Carroll, who will now have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.