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Today's Breaking News

Canal sex attacker

By Eddie Goddard

 A SEX ATTACKER was trapped by DNA evidence he left at the scene of his assault. Christopher Hatcher threatened his victim at knifepoint before carrying out the terrifying Sunday morning attack. But he left behind forensic clues on her clothes
and handbag that allowed police to identify him.Hatcher, of Dymchurch Road, Hythe, admitted sexual assault, kidnap and robbery when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court. The court was told the victim had been walking along Royal Military Canal in Hythe at about 7.30am on Sunday June 22 when she heard someone running behind her. As she turned to see who it was, the man stopped
running and began walking towards her. He was wearing a top with the hood pulled over his head and a scarf covered his face.
It was then that he revealed a knife and told the victim: ‘Don’t make a noise, come with me.’ The woman was forced to walk back in the direction she had come from while Hatcher followed behind saying: ‘Don’t look at me,remember I have got a knife’. When they arrived at a secluded spot by the canal, Hatcher,30, told her to lay on the floor and cover her face with a jumper. He then performed
a sex act. When the victim got up, Hatcher was rifling through her handbag and found her purse. He said: ‘I’ll take this’ before running off in the
direction of Folkestone. The victim was found by a dog walker, who
called police. Forensic specialists carried out an examination of the victim’s handbag and clothing and extracted strands of DNA. On July police were told of a man acting suspiciously near the canal tow path and arrested Hatcher. DNA tests later provided a direct match to a profile found on the victim’s clothing and handbag from the sex attack. In interview he denied the offence and said he had not been to that area of Hythe for many years. But HE pleaded guilty during a plea and case management
hearing at court on Tuesday October 21. Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Richard Vickery of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘This was a premeditated incident in which Hatcher targeted his victim in a secluded area in the early hours of a Sunday morning. It must have been a terrifying experience for the victim. With her assistance and detailed account we were able
to compile a thorough and comprehensive case against Hatcher. She is an extremely courageous young lady and I would take this opportunity to thank her
personally. In the weeks after the assault, officers carried out regular patrols in the area to keep members of the public safe and they were close by when they were able to respond to a call on 5 July.