Prison for Rugby man who broke into 90-year-old's house before attacking her and exposing himself
A man who broke into a 90-year-old woman’s home, shook her awake and exposed himself to her as she lay in bed, has been jailed.
And David Bale, who assaulted his elderly victim when she tried to look away, was given an extended sentence after a judge concluded that he poses a danger to women in the future.
Bale (27) of Lytham Road, Overslade, Rugby, had denied a charge of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence, two charges of exposure, and two of common assault.
But Bale, who had already admitted five earlier offences of exposure, had changed his pleas to guilty on the second day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court last month.
Following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him, he was jailed for six years, and will have to serve at least four years before the Parole Board will consider releasing him.
If he is freed before serving the whole term, he will be on licence for the rest of the six years – and for a further four years, and will have to register as a sex offender for life.
During the trial prosecutor Richard McConaghy said that in May a 90-year-old Rugby woman was asleep in bed when she was woken by the cover being pulled back and someone tapping her arm.
She looked up and saw a man dressed in black who exposed himself, ‘colloquially, if you like, flashing at her,’ said Mr McConaghy.
Mr McConaghy said: “She was terrified. She told him how old she was, and she got out of bed and tried to get past him and away.
“He chased her into the hallway where he punched her to the head and she fell against a radiator. He kept saying to her ‘Look at my c**k,’ and he was in a position as if he was exposing himself to her – but she was not going to look.”
Having hit her, Bale went into her living room, and the sprightly pensioner managed to get her front door open and fled into the street in her nightclothes, screaming for help.
As one of her neighbours rushed outside, Bale came from the side of her house pushing a mountain bike.
As she continued to shout for help, Bale grabbed her and shook her and slapped her face, then walked away after turning to the neighbour and saying ‘She’s crazy.’
In an impact statement she says she has become paranoid about checking the doors, checking them over and over again, adding: “It is the most scary and traumatic event I have ever been involved in.”
After the police were contacted, an officer saw Bale pushing a bike in the Overslade area, so stopped to speak to him – but he escaped down an alley.
It was around that time that a woman living nearby had been woken by someone ringing her doorbell at 4.45 in the morning.
When she opened her window, he said his name was David and asked to be let in, before exposing himself.
At the resumed hearing Mr McConaghy said there had been earlier incidents of Bale exposing himself to women, including a plain-clothed police officer, from the garden of his home.
Although Bale was arrested for that, Judge Anthony Potter observed he was not charged or bailed, ‘but simply released under investigation', and went on to commit the most serious offence.
Mr McConaghy commented: “It was specific targeting of a particularly vulnerable individual. It can’t be a coincidence that in the run-up to this the defendant was searching for pornography with the term ‘granny’ in it.”
Andrew Wilkins, defending, said there was a letter from Bale’s mother, and one from him expressing his regret.
And he argued: “As far as targeting is concerned, there is a concern simply because we know she was obviously vulnerable, but it doesn’t follow she was targeted.”
Bale, who is Autistic, had had difficulties when he was growing up, and the sudden death of an aunt from cancer ‘may have tipped him over the edge,’ said Mr Wilkins, who submitted that it had been ‘an isolated incident’ and that he was not dangerous.
But jailing Bale, Judge Potter told him: “I have to sentence you for seven offences of exposure, two of battery and a serious offence of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.
“I am satisfied you targeted her, knowing an elderly woman lived there on her own.
“You express no real insight into your condition with respect to your interest in exposing yourself, and the excuses you made with regard to your use of cannabis and alcohol to justify your behaviour is not consistent with the kind of remorse you seek to express.
“This isn’t a case where you are expressing real remorse, but distress for the circumstances in which you find yourself. I am satisfied you pose a significant risk of causing serious harm by committing further specified offences.”