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Blackpool man jailed for attempted rape

Paul Gibson

[A] man has been jailed for the attempted rape of a woman in Blackpool.

Paul Gibson, 26, of Dinmore Avenue, was sentenced to six years in prison at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, February 8) following the attack last year.

Police were called around 2.35am on August 20 after reports of an incident in Dickson Road.

Officers attended and found an 18-year-old woman at the scene, along with Gibson, who had been detained by several people.

Detectives established Gibson had met the woman and her friends earlier in the evening. The group had been socialising with Gibson, who offered to walk the victim home.

As the pair walked on Dickson Road, Gibson grabbed the victim, dragging her onto the forecourt of a tyre garage and attempting to rape her. The 18-year-old woman fought back before being punched by Gibson.

Two men and a woman in a vehicle saw the attack and stopped, with Gibson making off from the scene. The group ran after Gibson and detained him, before he was arrested by police.

Gibson was charged with attempted rape and following a two week trial was convicted. He was also made subject to the requirements of the sex offender notification scheme for life.

Det Con Matt Normanton, of Lancashire Police, said: “Gibson is clearly a dangerous and predatory individual who targeted the victim before subjecting her to a horrific ordeal.

“The attack was only stopped thanks to the quick-thinking actions of two men and a woman who saw the incident unfold from a passing car. The group got out of the vehicle, detained Gibson and prevented the victim coming to further harm.

“The trial judge commended the group for their efforts and we must also thank them.

“The victim in this case has shown a tremendous amount of courage throughout this investigation and subsequent trial and I hope the result will allow her to begin to put this ordeal behind her and move forward with her life.

“We welcome Gibson’s imprisonment and hope it serves as a warning to others wanting to commit such offences.”

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