A man who left care home staff “frightened for their lives” when he armed himself with a butter knife and chased them away – and then tried to rape an elderly dementia patient – has been branded “a dangerous individual” by police.
Jake Astley, 22, of Sharples Hall Street in Oldham, claimed to have no collection of the incident, which happened after a day-and-night drink and drugs binge. However, before trial, he pled guilty to the charge of attempted rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Astley’s defence claimed he was in the midst of a psychotic episode. However, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester was told that a psychological report had ruled-out Astley suffering a psychotic episode.
The crown heard that Astley gained access to the care home, in Oldham, when the victim was asleep in her bedroom in the early hours of January 1, 2023.
Rachel Faux, prosecuting, said: “He approached staff holding a butter knife from the dining room saying ‘come to me now, come to me now’, causing them to run away from him. He then chased all three of the members of staff whilst holding the butter knife. They hid in various places in the care home and contacted the police.”
The court heard that when police arrived they found Astley, with his lower clothing around his ankles, locked inside an elderly woman’s bedroom. The victim has dementia, is unable to communicate verbally and has partial paralysis due to a stroke a number of years earlier, the court was told.
Astley later told police he did not remember any of the incident. He said he had been drinking since 5am the day before – and had consumed two litres of rum, bottles of lager, two drinks of vodka and Pepsi – and had also taken cocaine.
The vulnerable victim was found to have bite marks on her bicep and abdomen ‘consistent with physical assault by biting,’ the court was told. She also had bruising and swelling to her eyes and face and a laceration to her nose and was taken to hospital.
In an impact statement, the victim’s granddaughter told the court her grandma’s health has suffered after the ordeal. The granddaughter said: “She used to laugh and smile, and was happy and sociable. It’s heartbreaking to see who she is now.”
“He’s not just destroyed her last few years but also her family’s and all the happy memories they should be making. She is withdrawn and anxious. I can’t begin to imagine the pain she experiences from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep.”
A female member of staff at the care home said she was “frightened for her life” during the ordeal. And she also said that she ‘no longer feels safe’, reports the Manchester Evening News.
In mitigation, Stuart Neale said Astley had suffered ‘appalling teenage years’ that included taking drugs and being homeless. He said that Astley, who has one previous conviction for an unspecified offence, had been “off his head” when the attack took place – and no felt “deep and genuine remorse”.
Neale told the court: “He (Astley) had no recollection of the events. He was unaware of where he went or what he did.
“Words can’t express how much he despises himself and truly expresses true remorse about what happened.”
However, Astley was jailed for 10 years six months, with an extended licence period of three years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Judge Bernadette Baxter said: “These offences have had a devastating effect on her and her family, as was made clear by the impact statement read by her granddaughter.
“You have quite simply devastated her final years and those years for her whole family. The consequence of your offending will stay with them forever.”
Detective Constable Sharon Harper of Greater Manchester Police’s said: “Jake Astley – whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol – was able to gain access to the premises and arrogantly and knowingly walk through the care home to commit crime where vulnerable adults resided whilst he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“He not only put the care home residents and staff through danger by threatening them with a knife and chasing them through their place of work or their home with a knife, but he then committed further atrocious crimes to a vulnerable elderly woman.
“Astley knowingly entered the victim’s bedroom, preyed upon her vulnerabilities, and began to assault and sexually assault her. His crimes are horrific and his lack of remorse for the victim and her welfare is despicable. Astley is a dangerous individual who fully deserves the sentence imposed on him.”