Attacker back in jail after assault on teenager 20 years on from Royston attempted murder

Wayne Clay. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary

Wayne Clay. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A man who was jailed for 12 years for the attempted murder of a teenage girl in Royston is behind bars again after attacking another victim in Lowestoft, Suffolk on New Year’s Day.

Wayne Clay followed a teenage girl leaving a nightclub in Royston in 1997 and grabbed her before attacking her and leaving her for dead.

In a similar incident on January 1 this year, a 17-year-old girl was walking home after celebrating New Year when she noticed a man loitering in an alleyway.

She felt uneasy and turned to walk in a different direction but then heard footsteps behind her.

She turned to see Wayne Clay who told her to be quiet before grabbing her waist and pulling her into a driveway – with such force that both of them fell to the ground.

The teenager screamed and fortunately two members of the public driving past heard and stopped to see what was happening, causing the attacker to get up and flee.

Following a police investigation, Clay, formerly of Warren Road in Lowestoft, was arrested and interviewed. He admitted being shown on CCTV cameras in the area and was positively identified by the victim as her assailant.

Most Read

The 53-year-old appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday, for sentencing after pleading guilty to false imprisonment and was jailed for three years.

He must also serve five years on licence when he is released.

Investigating officer Det Con Lee Cudmore said: “We would like to thank the woman driver and her passenger who stopped their vehicle to intervene after hearing the teenager scream as this prevented anything further from happening. When Clay was arrested he told us in interview he had intended to ‘hug’ the teenager, but checks had already revealed that he had previously been jailed for an incident in Hertfordshire in 1997, where a teenage girl had been attacked in similar circumstances.”

Det Insp Matthew Adams, of Lowestoft CID, added; “Police responded quickly after taking the report at 2.20am on New Year’s Day and carried out a search of the area. A combination of information gathered in the initial stages of the enquiry and further work by detectives identified Clay as a suspect and checks revealed that he had previously been jailed for 12 years for attempted murder, where he had attacked another young woman who was walking home from a nightclub in Royston in Hertfordshire. He had grabbed her and told her to be quiet in a similar way before brutally attacking her and leaving her for dead.

“We are very grateful for the prompt actions of the passers by who were public spirited enough to stop and, in doing so, scared Clay off. Their actions along with the strength of the young woman and work by officers has resulted in Clay being jailed and given an extended licence term.”