Man jailed for sexually assaulting woman and girl on York trains – police praise victim’s bravery

William John Strickson. Photograph: British Transport Police
21 Nov 2016 @ 11.24 am
| Crime, News
William John Strickson. Photograph: British Transport Police
William John Strickson. Photograph: British Transport Police

A man who sexually assaulted a woman and a teenage girl on separate York trains has been jailed for two years after one of his victims bravely identified him.

William John Strickson, 22, of Back Lane, Pickering was jailed at York Crown Court on Thursday (November 17) after admitting two counts of sexual assault.

A 24-year-old woman from Scarborough was travelling on a Seamer to York service at 7am on Tuesday, November 15 when she saw Strickson walking up and down the carriage.

Despite passing a number of empty seats he came and sat next to her then proceeded to stroke her legs and upper thighs. The victim left the train and raised the alarm.

The following day she bravely travelled on the same service with a plain clothes officer and identified Strickson who was swiftly arrested.

Strickson also inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl a few days before, on Wednesday, August 10 on the 5.40pm York to Malton service.

The girl had been standing up when he stood closely behind her and stroked her bottom a number of times. She moved away and then reported the incident to police.

CCTV was examined and a man matching Strickson’s description was seen leaving the train at Malton.

‘Extremely distressed’

York Crown Court. Photograph: Richard McDougall
York Crown Court. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Strickson fully admitted both offences when interviewed by police.

As well as the jail sentence Strickson was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order was granted preventing him from travelling on public transport without an appropriate adult.

PC Dan Smith from British Transport Police said:

Strickson’s victims were left extremely shaken and distressed by his actions.

I would like to thank both victims for coming forward to report what must have been an upsetting experience for them.

Strickson’s second victim showed exceptional bravery in accompanying an officer and pointing him out to ensure he was arrested and jailed for his actions.

PC Smith said the police take all reports of this nature very seriously, adding: “Our Report It To Stop It campaign, which aims to combat unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway by encouraging members of the public to report it, is proving very successful in supporting victims and bringing perpetrators of these crimes like Strickson to justice.”