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Sex attacker who tied woman to bed during two-day crime spree gets life sentence

PUBLISHED: 07:10 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 20 November 2018

Gary Nathan. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Gary Nathan. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

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A violent sex attacker who embarked on a two-day crime spree that included tying a woman to a bed and robbing her has been jailed for life.

Judge Stephen Holt  Judge Stephen Holt described Gary Nathan as a high risk of serious harm to women.   Photo : Steve AdamsJudge Stephen Holt Judge Stephen Holt described Gary Nathan as a high risk of serious harm to women. Photo : Steve Adams

Gary Nathan, 52, of Pottergate in Norwich, pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court in May 2018 to two counts of robbery, assault, unlawful imprisonment, sexual touching and five counts of sexual assault - all of which were committed on May 9 and 10 2017.

Today (19 November) at Norwich Crown Court he received a life sentence and must serve a minimum of 10 years before he can be considered for parole.

The first incident occurred on May 9 at Damocles Court in Norwich where Nathan sexually assaulted a woman before tying her to her bed and robbing her.

On May 10 Nathan launched an unprovoked attack on a disabled man in his own home in Wellington Green, Norwich.

He assaulted the victim and threatened him, claiming to have a knife, before stealing cash.

The woman read to the court her victim personal statement.

She said she considered suicide after “12 hours of pure living hell” during which she was tied to a bed and seriously sexually assaulted.

Nathan was already in her Norwich home when he followed her to her bedroom and pinned her down before tying her to the bed and forcing her to take part in “the most terrible, extreme sexual abuse”.

Norwich Crown Court heard she started to scream but Nathan told her to shut up, insisting that no-one was coming.

He repeatedly threatened to “snap her neck” if she did not do what he wanted.

During the attack, she was taken to the toilet by Nathan if she needed to go. He used her phone and laptop to look at pornography and twice visited a cash machine to take money from her account while she was still tied to the bed, the court heard.

In the victim personal statement she read out in court, she told how Nathan had “ruined my life”.

She said: “This man will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

She said she had waited more than a year and a half to get justice, adding her “whole life was and remains in pieces” and she now no longer felt safe on her own.

The victim, who cannot he named for legal reasons and who spoke from behind a screen, said she now suffered panic attacks among a raft of other conditions triggered by the incident.

The court heard the victim arrived home at her flat in Norwich to find the defendant “in her kitchen”.

He told her he was the friend of a person who had moved in and who he was waiting for before taking a beer out of the fridge.

The victim made her way to her bedroom but was followed by Nathan who “pinned her to the bed with his hands around her throat”.

The court heard she started to scream but he shook her and told her to shut up, insisting that no-one was coming. He told her he was not going to rape her but would if she did not comply.

Nathan, who appeared via videolink from HMP Belmarsh, admitted false imprisonment, three counts of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, two sexual assaults and a robbery on May 9 last year.

He also admitted a separate robbery offence, against a different victim on May 10 last year.

On that occasion he had stolen £50 from the wallet of a disabled man who he had threatened with a knife.

Judge Stephen Holt described Nathan as being “a high risk of serious harm to women”.

Judge Holt said the victim was subjected to “the most terrible, extreme sexual abuse” and the depravity of what Nathan forced her do was just “horrendous”. He praised the bravery of the victim in coming forward.

Matthew McNiff said his client had pleaded guilty to what he had done. Mr McNiff said his client wanted him to convey the “sorrow he feels for what he did”.

Mr McNiff said what he did was “inexcusable and unforgivable” and said he would remain in the prison system for “many years to come”.

Det Insp Chris Burgess, from Norwich CID, welcomed the sentence, saying: “Nathan subjected his victims to violent attacks, which have undoubtedly had a significant impact on their lives.

“The victims were immensely brave by coming forward and I hope this result provides some closure for them.

“We also hope this will help to reassure victims that we will always investigate any allegations of sexual abuse thoroughly.”

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