DETECTIVES who hunted down a ‘sinister’ sex attacker have welcomed his latest life sentence.

Sexual predator Philip Hann grabbed a woman from behind as she walked along a path before holding a knife to her face and attempting to drag her onto wasteland where he intended to seriously sexually assault her.

The 55-year-old had been out of prison for less than three years after being jailed for life in 1994 after carrying out a number of terrifying rapes and sexual assaults.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the pervert used the same tactics as he had almost 30 years ago when he donned a balaclava, armed himself with a knife and sexually assaulted lone women.

The Northern Echo: Philip Hann. Picture: CLEVELAND POLICEPhilip Hann. Picture: CLEVELAND POLICE

This time his intended victim managed to fight him off and escape from his predatory grasp after he kidnapped her at the Tees Barrage near Stockton in May last year.

The quick thinking of the victim and members of the public who saw Hann behaving suspiciously meant he was quickly arrested and identified by the trail of evidence he left in his wake as he attempted to flee the scene.

Read more: The face of a serial sex offender jailed for life after kidnapping woman at knife point

Judge Christopher Smith sentenced Hann to a life sentence with a minimum period of seven years and two months in prison.

Detective Sergeant Sarah Beadle, speaking after the sentencing hearing, said: “This was a terrifying experience for the woman involved and I’d like to thank the many members of the public who comforted her and ensured she felt safe while waiting for police to arrive.

“Her bravery and foresight in remaining at the location so she could give more information to officers was truly remarkable and it also meant Hann was apprehended and arrested very quickly.

“Hann is a sinister and dangerous individual who acted brazenly in broad daylight in a popular outdoor location - where everyone should be free to enjoy themselves without coming to any harm.

“He then repeatedly denied his intentions, adding to the victim’s distress. It was only late on in the court process that he finally admitted he had attempted to kidnap his victim with the intent of then committing a sexual offence.

“Again, I must commend her bravery and determination to see justice done. I’m sure I speak to everyone involved in the investigation in wishing her well and we all sincerely hope today’s result will help her move forward.”

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