A CONVICTED killer climbed into the bedroom of a woman for whom he had a “crush” since his teenage years, a court heard.

The terrified nurse woke at 4am, on September 11 last year, to see a shadow outside her bedroom window.

Durham Crown Court was told Mark Towell had climbed onto a flat roof and was trying to enter through the bedroom window.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Towell lived near to the woman in his youth and developed an obsession with her while in prison, serving a sentence for the murder of a man, imposed in 2002.

He was only released from prison on a life-licence a few weeks earlier.

The single mother pressed her panic alarm and went downstairs to call the police.

But she returned to her bedroom to find the heavily intoxicated Towell lying on the bedroom floor.

The lone householder, in her 50s, screamed and tried to run to the bathroom, but Towell followed and grabbed her by both arms.

There was a scuffle and he tried to press a button on her phone to end the call to police.

Mr Baker said at this point the woman was to later tell police she thought she would be raped or killed.

Towell made various sexual remarks, telling her she was “f***ing lovely” and he asked her to tell the police not to come to the house.

She told him they were on the way and offered to open the door so he could leave, but he refused to go.

Mr Baker said there was then a period where they sat talking in the lounge, with the woman desperate to keep Towell calm.

Towell told her he just wanted to talk to her and said he had a crush on her from years earlier.

He told her he became aroused thinking about her and wanted to “lick her all over”.

She responded that she was nearing 60 and was “not lovely”.

Towell told her he knew she had separated from her husband years earlier and threatened to kill him or her current partner if they ever hurt her.

Mr Baker said while Towell was in prison he wrote a letter to the woman which “flabbergasted her” and left her fearing what would happen if he was released from prison.

He asked her why she had not written back, and, trying not to say anything to upset him, she said she did not know what to say to him.

Read more: Problems with parole system ‘add to stresses of victims’ – report

While they sat talking, Towell asked her to look at a dressing to an injury at the back of his neck as he knew she was a nurse.

When police arrived and arrested him, Towell said he just wanted to talk and had done nothing wrong, adding that he had not meant to scare the woman.

Mr Baker said the victim was so upset after the ordeal she has been unable to work and has moved away from her home of 30 years, feeling her life had, “changed forever”.

Towell, 46, of Selkirk Crescent, Birtley, admitted a charge of affray on the day his case was listed for trial.

Lorraine Mustard, in mitigation, said the victim was, “undoubtedly caused extreme fear”, but Towell had been very apologetic, even when taken to a police station, and has been subject to recall to prison, as a result.

Imposing a 30-month prison sentence Judge Ray Singh told Towell he may have convinced the Parole Board to allow his release shortly before the incident, but in the wake of events that night, it may prove more difficult when he is next eligible to apply for release.

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