A TEENAGER who carried out what prosecutors described as a 'brutal' rape attempt on a woman while on his way to work in Sainsbury's has been jailed.

Cheikhouna Lo, of Hendred Street, Oxford, continues to deny carrying out the late-night attack in Wantage, and told jurors during his trial that the woman had come on to him first - despite her screams for help.

A jury panel of seven men and five women rejected the 18-year-old's argument and found him roundly guilty of attempted rape, assault by penetration and of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence after eight hours and 26 minutes deliberations.

Oxford Crown Court heard at his sentencing hearing yesterday that Lo continues to maintain his innocence and is yet to own up to the attack.

During the trial the court was told that during the rape attempt Lo had repeatedly punched his victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons, after picking her up off the ground and dragging her into an alleyway off Seesen Way.

Oxford Mail:

Her screams for help were heard by passers-by, some of whom came to her aid, before Lo fled the scene. The woman suffered a number of injuries as a result of the attack, the court heard.

Sentencing, Judge Maria Lamb said: "It is utterly heart-rending, the statement from [the victim] about the enduring impact of what you did to her.

"I can only hope that the appalling damage of what you have done to her can be helped by the fact that there were good people that came to help that night."

In mitigation his defence barrister pointed to Lo's youth and to a difficult upbringing at his native Senegal.

Lo was jailed for a total of seven and a half years and must serve an extended period on licence of four years.

He must also sign the sex offenders register for life and will be deported at the end of his sentence.

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