Sex attacker preyed on student outside Leeds nightclub

Mark Varley.
Mark Varley.
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A sex attacker targeted a student outside a nightclub and subjected her to a terrifying ordeal in an alleyway.

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Mark Varley, 32, was jailed for two and a half years after a court heard how he preyed on the young woman as she was talking on her mobile phone outside the club near Leeds City Centre.

Varley, who has previous convictions for sex attacks on young women, grabbed her as she was stood behind a burger van outside Halo nightclub, Woodhouse Lane, on May 20 last year.

Varley then dragged the woman into an alleyway and told her not to scream or he would make the attack worse.

The victim was crying and begged Varley to stop as he carried out the sex assault.

Varley stopped when a group of people walked past the end of the alleyway and the woman began to walk away.

Leeds Crown Court heard Varley then followed the woman as she was too afraid to scream for help as she feared he would attack her again.

Varley followed her along Woodhouse Lane into Leeds city centre where she ran in a McDonalds restaurant and raised the alarm.

CCTV footage showed Varley following her into the restaurant. He was arrested and claimed he had been trying to help the woman after seeing that she was upset. He pleaded not guilty to sexual assault but was found guilty after a trial.

Judge Penelope Belcher told Varley: “The defence you put forward was barely credible.”

She added: “This was plainly a very nasty and a very frightening incident.”

Varley has convictions for three offences of indecent assault. The offences were against lone females. One victim was attacked on the street and another was attacked on a bus.

Varley was told he must go on the sex offenders register for ten years. Michael Miller, mitigating, said Varley continued to deny carrying out the sex attack.

The disgraced former celebrity publicist, Max Clifford, has reportedly died in hospital aged 74 after collapsing in prison.

NATIONAL NEWS: Disgraced celebrity publicist Max Clifford dies aged 74 after collapsing in prison