Sex offender who followed victim home and attacked her is 'every woman's worst nightmare' say police

Deane Clayton has been sentenced to three years in prison and placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely. Credit: Surrey Police

A woman who was sexually assaulted outside her own front door by a man who followed her home in Surrey says it has left her constantly afraid.

The victim was walking home from Redhill town centre on 4 August last year when she noticed a man she didn't know following close behind her.

As she reached her front door and tried to get in, he grabbed her around the neck and sexually assaulted her. He then exposed himself.

The woman was able to break free, but as she sought help, he continued to follow her.

The victim tried to flag down passing vehicles before spotting a neighbour with their lights on, so she banged on their front door, they let her in and called the police.

Officers found Deane Clayton, 37, from Northgate in Crawley, at Redhill bus station where he was arrested.

He was sentenced to three years in jail, placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and given a restraining order to protect the victim.

In a personal impact statement, the victim said the experience had had a profound impact on her day-to-day life.

She said: “I have become paranoid. I have stopped going out.

"I am constantly afraid of bad things.

"My image of the world, the people, specifically from men, has changed in a very bad way. I wish it had never happened to me.”

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Detective Constable Jess Ratcliffe, from Surrey’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team, said: “This scenario is every woman’s worst nightmare.

"To be attacked, just as you try to get home safely, is utterly terrifying and the victim was incredibly brave in being able to give a description and help us find this man so quickly. Now he is behind bars where he belongs.”

Sexual Offences Liaison Officer (SOLO) Roberta Jeffries said: “We must commend the immense bravery of the victim throughout the investigation, and we hope this outcome brings some justice”.