Jane Greenhalgh successfully prosecutes attempted kidnap and sex assault case

June 25, 2019

Jane Greenhalgh from Exchange Chambers has successfully prosecuted a homeless man who attempted to kidnap an actress and sexually assault her in a derelict warehouse where he lived.

The actress was due to perform at the Hull Truck Theatre that night.

Jamie Plaxton, 30, pounced on the woman while she was out jogging near the disused Lord Line building on St Andrew’s Dock, west Hull, and captured her after a brief chase.

Fearing she was being mugged, the victim screamed and offered him her mobile phone. Plaxton allegedly said: “Stop screaming. I’m a police officer, I can show you my badge. I want you to come to that building with me.”

He abandoned the attack when a man working at the nearby Cranswick Foods factory heard the screams and went to investigate.

The witness from Cranswick Foods was said to have seen Plaxton “straddled on top of her, punching her repeatedly whilst she was screaming and shouting for help”.

Jane Greenhalgh, prosecuting, told the jury that the incident had “all the hallmarks of a sexually motivated attack”.

She said while she was struggling with Plaxton, “she felt the defendant intended to rape her. She said that he clearly did not look like a police officer but like a homeless person, dirty and carrying a rucksack”.

During the course of the trial, the seven men and five women of the jury were taken on a site visit, accompanied by trial judge John Thackray QC, prosecution and defence lawyers, and court officials.

After a four-day trial, Plaxton was convicted of attempted kidnap, and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Judge John Thackray QC said he would be seeking a report into whether Plaxton should be treated as dangerous.

After thanking the jury for their service at the conclusion of the trial, the judge told Plaxton: “Mr Plaxton, you inevitably face a very long custodial sentence. This was serious criminal offending which had a profound effect upon your victim.”

Plaxton was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

Jane Greenhalgh is a member of the criminal team at Exchange Chambers.