New Addington sex attacker preyed on girl on way to school in South Croydon
A predatory sex attacker who seized a 15-year-old girl on the way to school, dragged her into woodland then tried to rape her, has been jailed for seven years.
Dean Moran, 27, of Cunningham House, Montacute Road, New Addington, told the schoolgirl he would "snap her neck" if she screamed for help during the attack in South Croydon in June.
He was jailed for seven years at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday after being found guilty of attempted rape.
Moran's victim, who did not know him, had been able to identify him because he told her his name during the attack.
Detectives who investigated the attack this week praised the courage of the girl, who was forced to relive the "terrifying ordeal" during a week-long trial.
Moran attacked the schoolgirl as she walked along Conker Alley, a path which connects Farnborough Avenue in Selsdon with Gravel Hill in Addington, at 7.15am on June 27 this year.
He grabbed her around the face, covered her mouth and threatened to break her neck if she made any noise as he dragged her to nearby trees and tried to rape her.
The girl escaped when Moran stopped during the attack. She reported it when she got to school and was able to tell police officers Moran's name.
He was arrested at his home later that day and denied the attack.
But he was later visually identified by the victim, who gave evidence by video-link during his trial.
A jury found Moran guilty on October 25.
Detective Constable Heather Wilders, of the Metropolitan Police's sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command, said the girl had shown great bravery in giving evidence against her attacker in court.
She said: "This was a horrendous experience for the victim who was left traumatised by Moran's actions.
"We are pleased that a conviction has now been secured against Moran, who has subjected a 15-year-old girl to a terrifying ordeal on her way to school.
D Con Wilders added: "Moran attempted to lie his way out of trouble, rather than face up to his appalling behaviour, and it is satisfying that he will now have to face the consequences."
"The victim has shown a huge amount of courage in helping to put this dangerous man in prison.
"She can now look to regain her confidence and feel safe again knowing that he will be off the streets for a long time."
On top of his jail term, Moran was handed a three-year licence extension - a measure reserved for the most dangerous violent offenders - that means he could be recalled to prison if he reoffends.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Keith Ward moved to reassure the community.
He said: "Thankfully stranger attacks such as this are rare.
"I hope today's sentence will reassure the local community, and particularly the young victim that the man responsible has been brought swiftly to justice and will now serve a substantial prison sentence."
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