Halo sex attacker jailed for two and a half years

A 32-year-old man who subjected a student to a sex attack outside a Leeds nightclub has been jailed for two and a half years.Mark Varley.

Mark Varley, who has previous convictions for sex attacks on lone women, attacked a woman as she was talking on her mobile phone outside Halo nightclub in May last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard that Varley dragged the woman into an alleyway, telling her not to scream or he would make the attack worse. As he carried out the attack, the victim was crying and begging Varley to stop. She was able to escape after Varley stopped the attack when a group of people walked past the end of the alleyway.

The victim, being too afraid to scream for help in fear of renewing the attack, walked down Woodhouse Lane into the city centre, as her attacker continued to follow her.
CCTV footage showed Varley following the young woman into a McDonalds restaurant after she ran into raise the alarm. He was then arrested and claimed he was trying to help the woman, having seen that she was upset.

Varley had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault but was found guilty by trial. Judge Penelope Belcher told him: “The defence you put forward was barely credible. This was plainly a very nasty and a very frightening attack”. Varley has also been put on the sex offenders register for ten years.

Elli Pugh

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