'Manipulative' rapist jailed for 13 years for sex attack on woman with dementia
PUBLISHED: 10:39 19 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:40 19 May 2018
A rapist who assaulted a vulnerable woman in her own home was finally jailed today - after years of court delays.
Anthony Holloway raped a 60-year-old woman with dementia in her Sprowston home in December 2015.
But the 53-year old managed to avoid justice for two-and-a-half years by lying to Norwich Crown Court that his uncle had died and then attempting to change his plea.
Jailing him for 13 years on Friday, plus five years on licence, Judge Maureen Bacon described Holloway as a “manipulative and devious” man.
She told him his “day of reckoning for his cowardly ways”, which he had long sought to avoid, had finally arrived.
Holloway was initially charged in December 2015 with rape, but after months of court delays the case did not get to trial until September 2017.
By April 2017, there had been 10 court hearings and the victim’s son complained to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that the family was enduring “an endless wait for justice”.
In response, a CPS manager admitted the delays were “unacceptably long” and said “some of the fault lies with the CPS, while the police, the court and defence have also caused delays”.
The mental condition of the woman declined after she was raped and medical evidence was needed to show she could not give evidence.
But Holloway’s defence team challenged evidence from the CPS about the victim’s mental condition.
They argued it was unfair that they would not be able to cross-examine the victim, again further delaying the case.
Then on the fourth day of the trial in September 2017, Holloway, who was on bail, told the court his uncle had died.
The judge decided to stop the trial and hold it in December instead.
But his ‘uncle’, who was an elderly man he lived with, was not his uncle and had not died.
Holloway, of Peregrine Road, disappeared and was not caught by police until later that month.
He then pleaded guilty in November 2017 to perverting the course of justice and to sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice – an offence more serious than rape.
He was meant to be sentenced in December but that court hearing did not go ahead.
His defence barrister argued he should not be sentenced because the victim’s family were not at court and Holloway wished to change his plea back to not guilty.
That meant the case was delayed again, this time until January.
At the January hearing Holloway confirmed he wished to change his plea to not guilty, meaning the court would need to hold further hearings to decide whether or not to let him change his plea.
Judge Bacon said Holloway’s lies to the court were an “audacious affront to justice”.
He will not be up for parole for 13 years and will serve a 30-month sentence concurrent to that for perverting the course of justice.
The victim’s son said he was “thrilled” with the sentence.
Ian James, prosecuting, told the court Holloway had befriended the woman in the days before the attack.
He went to her house, drank coffee and watched television, before raping her.
The court was told Holloway still does not accept his guilt.
When interviewed by police shortly after the attack he claimed he had gone to the woman’s house for a coffee and then left when she tried to cuddle him.
In reality, he pushed her onto her bed and leapt on her.
Mr James said the victim’s family had been put through distress by the delays and public money wasted.
Holloway has previous convictions for theft, including being jailed for 14 months in 2011 for stealing £6,000 from an elderly man.
He was also on bail for rape when he attacked the woman, but that case did not proceed.
In mitigation, Robert Fitt said Holloway’s crime was not sophisticated - he had given the woman his name and phone number.
Mr Fitt told the court some credit for pleading guilty before the case went to a second trial should be given to him.
He also said the deterioration in the victim’s mental condition was because of her illness rather than the attack.
One close neighbour of Holloway said he had lived with an elderly man in a bungalow for years.
She said neighbours were “horrified” when, after being arrested for the attack in December 2015, he was then released.
“We knew he had been taken away and knew what he had done to the lady,” she said. “We thought ‘I hope he doesn’t come back’. Then one night a car drove up with him in.
“We kept an eye on him because we didn’t trust him after what he did with that lady.
“The worst thing for them to do was to bring that man back into this area, people were living in fear.”
A CPS spokesman said: “We hope this outcome gives the victim and their family a sense of justice.”
They added they would address any other concerns the family still had.