Man sent to prison for using sexually explicit and threatening words to lone women in York
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A convicted sex offender who has been “striking fear into the hearts of women” in York has been jailed for 12 months.
David Karl Hampton, aged 56, of no fixed address, was sentenced today (Friday 19 November 2021) at York Magistrates’ Court.
He had previously pleaded guilty to two Section 4 Public Order Act offences which he committed during the early hour of Friday 24 September 2021.
At 1.10am, Hampton approached a woman aged in her early 20s who was walking alone through Micklegate Bar and along Micklegate toward the city centre.
He made a series of sexually explicit and threatening comments to her which led the “terrified” woman to quickly walk away and alert the police.
Just 20 minutes later on Queen Street, Hampton approached another lone woman aged in her 40s and made further sexual comments to her. She also called the incident into the police.
Officers investigating the two incidents located and arrested Hampton nearby just after 2am.
Hampton was charged with two Public Order Act offences to which he pleaded guilty to at the magistrate's court on 26 October.
He also admitted two offences of failing to comply with his notification requirements as a registered sex offender and failing to surrender to the court.
When he is released from prison, he will be subject to full public protection measures to manage the risk he poses to the community and to women in particular.
Victim personal statement
The victim personal statement of the woman was approached by Hampton in the first incident was read out in court before the sentencing:
“The actions of this man have left me feeling terrified. I felt extremely distressed, anxious and disgusted.
“I am unable to sleep without my boyfriend there because I feel so paranoid that he is out on the street near my house. I feel completely vulnerable and unsafe going out on my own and will not leave the house alone at night because this experience has left me so scared.
“As he was making these threats to me, I was completely paralysed with fear, because I fully felt that he was going to hurt me. This feeling has stayed with me in the weeks since, and I am constantly tearful every time I think about it.
“The threats that he made ring in my head constantly, and I have had multiple nightmares where he is following me again. This event has made me feel very lonely and distrustful of every man I see on the street. I am constantly looking and scanning people’s faces, looking for him in case he is nearby.
“The thought that this man is wandering the streets at night makes me fearful for my own safety and the safety of any other woman walking alone.
“As a result of his actions, I do not feel safe or relaxed in my own home or walking around my local area. This feeling of fear will stay with me, I know that it will take me a long time to regain the confidence to walk on my own.
“As a young woman this has had a huge impact on my working and my social life, as well as my mental health. I have stopped seeing my friends and going out on an evening, it is disabling the way I feel as a person and the way I live my life. It has left me feeling very isolated.
“I have recently been promoted at work, but this incident has stripped me of the joy and pride I would have normally felt, because I feel so distracted and fearful.
“I believe this behaviour needs to be taken as the warning sign that it is. I do not want another woman to feel the fear and the anxiety that I am enduring.”
Police Staff Investigator Anne Yates, from the York & Selby Investigation Hub, said:
“David Karl Hampton is a sexual predator, and these offences are entirely sexually motivated.
“The deeply disturbing and sickening words he used towards his victims made the women believe he was going to carry out his threats.
“Hampton has been terrorising lone women for years and these incidents occurred at a time when the safety of women and girls is at the forefront of the public's minds.
“He has been striking fear into the hearts of women which cannot be allowed to continue. North Yorkshire Police will do everything within its power to stop him and others like him.”
StreetSafe online tool
With the support of the National Police Chief’s Council, The Home Office has launched an online tool called StreetSafe which is being piloted across police forces in England and Wales, including here in North Yorkshire.
The tool allows anyone, particularly women and girls, to anonymously flag up public places where they have felt or feel unsafe and say why.
It may be due to environmental issues, for example street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism and/or because of feeling threatened or at fear of harm in these areas, for example being followed or verbally abused.
It’s important to note that because StreetSafe is anonymous, it shouldn’t be used to report a crime or incident to the police.
People should still call 999 in an emergency and all other non-emergency incidents should be reported through 101, or online via the North Yorkshire Police website.
But by using StreetSafe, members of the public can anonymously provide information which can be used by police and other agencies help improve well-being and safety for communities.
The tool is being piloted for three months with progress and feedback being continually monitored. It will allow for flexibility to take learning and develop future requirements of the tool.
It's is available for everyone to use, but StreetSafe forms just one part of the Government’s whole system approach to tackling violence against women and girls, working with essential partners including the police, local authorities, schools and charities.