A woman was terrified when, as she was quietly reading a book in Leamington library, a man lay on the floor, grabbed her ankle and began kissing her foot.
Luke Rudge then followed up that bizarre behaviour by sniffing the woman’s boots, which she had taken off, telling her she had beautiful feet.
And after hearing that Rudge had previous convictions for sexual offences, a judge at Warwick Crown Court imposed an extended sentence totalling nine years and two months.
Rudge, aged 33, of Grove Street, Leamington, had pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault.
Under the extended sentence he was jailed for 14 months, of which he will have to serve two-thirds, and he will then be on licence for a further eight years at the end of the 14-month term.
Prosecutor Aliya Rashid said that in 2011 Rudge, who had earlier convictions for sexual offences, was jailed for four years for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in a Leamington park.
Rudge, who had confessed to that attack while he was subject to a community order for another sexual assault, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
He was released in March this year after serving two-thirds of the four-year sentence.
On November 7, he approached a 57-year-old woman in Leamington library, told her she had beautiful legs and feet and then lay on the floor and grabbed her left ankle with both hands.Despite the woman’s desperate attempts to pull free, he held on and began kissing her foot as she pleaded with him: “Leave me alone. You need to go.”
Eventually Rudge did stop, but began to sniff her boots as he told her again she had ‘beautiful legs and beautiful feet.’
Andrew Tucker, defending, said Rudge was desperate to get help and had previously not applied for parole so he could get a place on a sex offender’s course - but he did not get on it.
However, Judge Alan Parker established that during an extended period on licence Rudge could be required to take part in a sex offender programme, which he recommended ‘in the strongest terms.’
He then left, and the woman reported the matter to library staff who contacted the police – and officers were swift to identify Rudge as the person responsible, said Mrs Rashid.
When he was questioned Rudge admitted what he had done, and said he had gained sexual satisfaction afterwards.
Andrew Tucker, defending, said although to the woman ‘it may have felt it took an age,’ the incident had lasted a total of five or six minutes, two with Rudge on the floor and then three or four as he sat next to her.
Mr Tucker said that after Rudge’s release he went to live in Worcester, but then returned to Leamington where ‘life became difficult’ because people recognised him.
Rudge had hoped to get help for his sexual behaviour while serving his last sentence, which was why he did not apply for parole, but did not get a place on a sex offender’s course.
“He is only too well aware that he does need help, and he is desperate to have access to that. If he is dealt with in the community he has a proper chance of being placed on a programme where he can get the help he needs.
“The alternative is a period of imprisonment which will punish him but do nothing to help him; and there is a risk that in a few years time Your Honour or another judge will be placed in the position of having to deal with him for something similar.”
But Judge Alan Parker established that during an extended period on licence Rudge could be required to take part in a sex offender programme, which he recommended ‘in the strongest terms.’
He told Rudge: “Your antecedents are very concerning. My concern is to pass a sentence which will best protect the public.
“Your victim was far older than anyone who had been the victim of your attention in the past, 57 years of age. It is now clear you target women of all ages.
“You appear to have targeted her when you saw her sitting in Leamington library. She felt trapped by you. She was really, really scared. She describes herself as very frightened.
“The probation officer has correctly assessed you as presenting a high risk of serious harm to the public. I am satisfied you are dangerous.”