Man who grabbed teenage girl on New Year’s Day in Lowestoft is jailed for three years

Wayne Clay. Photo: Suffolk Police

Wayne Clay. Photo: Suffolk Police - Credit: Suffolk Police

A 53-year-old man who dragged a teenager into a driveway in Lowestoft on New Year's Day has been jailed for three years.

Wayne Clay, formerly of Warren Road, Lowestoft, grabbed a 17-year-old girl by the waist as she walked home from ringing in the new year - at around 2.15am on January 1 in Woods Loke West.

The victim noticed Clay loitering in an alleyway and turned to walk a different way, but heard his footsteps behind her.

He then pulled her into a driveway with such force that they both fell to the ground. The teenager - who was not known to Clay - then screamed, alerting two people who rushed to help, prompting him to flee.

On February 23, Clay pleaded guilty to the charge, and appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing on Tuesday.

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He was given an extended eight-year sentence, of which he will serve three years imprisonment plus five years on licence.

Officer in the case DC Lee Cudmore said; 'We would like to thank the woman driver and her passenger who stopped their vehicle to intervene as this prevented anything further from happening. When Clay was arrested he told us in interview he had intended to 'hug' the teenager, but checks had already revealed he had previously been jailed for an incident in Hertfordshire in 1997 where a teenage girl had been attacked in similar circumstances.'

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Detective Inspector Matthew Adams, of Lowestoft CID, added; 'A combination of information gathered in the initial stages of the enquiry and further work by detectives identified Clay as a suspect and checks revealed that he had previously been jailed for 12 years for attempted murder where he had attacked another young woman who was walking home from a nightclub in Royston in Hertfordshire. He had grabbed her and told her to be quiet in a similar way before brutally attacking her and leaving her for dead.

'We are very grateful for the prompt actions of the members of the public who were public spirited enough to stop and, in doing so, scared Clay off.'

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