A pensioner and grandfather sexually assaulted a vulnerable teenager he found on the street after telling her she “reminded him of his daughter”.
Thomas Mullen, 72, came across his victim while walking his dog through a Cardiff underpass just days before Christmas last year.
He invited her back to his home in Llanedeyrn for a hot drink and when they got there he locked the door and carried out a “frightening” sexual assault, later claiming the woman wanted to have sex with him because she had inadvertently licked her lips.
The defendant was later found guilty of sexual assault by penetration and two counts of sexual assault following a trial.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday heard that Mullen’s teenage victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, considered suicide following the attack and shaved off her hair because the thought of him touching it made her feel ill.
On December 23 the woman was sitting in an underpass.
The court heard Mullen, who had consumed a bottle of brandy earlier that day, began talking with the woman after his dog approached her.
After initially turning to walk away the defendant went back and told the woman she looked cold and invited her back to his home for a hot drink.
After the woman initially said no Mullen managed to persuade her to come back by telling her she “reminded him of his daughter” and told her he had a wife at home, which was untrue.
During the walk to his flat Mullen asked the woman questions about her circumstances and she told him he was a “genuinely nice guy”, which he agreed with.
When they got back to Mullen’s flat in Lincoln Court the defendant asked the woman if she wanted a drink or cannabis, which she declined.
After the woman had inadvertently licked her lips Mullen moved closer and asked her to spend the night.
He then put his hand on her leg which caused the woman to feel afraid about his intentions towards her.
Mullen then forcibly kissed her and the woman told him she was going to leave but the defendant said “no” and told her they would “have some fun”.
After she told him she didn’t want to he replied: “You’re just saying that.”
He then moved himself on top of her and the woman tried to push him off but she was unable to.
He then grabbed her breast and kissed her. When she wouldn’t open her mouth he held her nose and put his tongue in her mouth.
The woman later described being able to feel the remainder of some food he had been eating, which made her feel ill.
Mullen then proceeded to sexually assault the woman a number of times and told her she would “like it”.
He refused to stop the attack despite his victim crying and telling him to stop.
He told the woman to refer to herself as a “dirty b****” and claimed she had been trying to “turn him on” by licking her lips, which she denied.
He also claimed she was getting “sexual enjoyment” out of what he was doing, which she denied.
The attack came to an end after the defendant got his penis out of his trousers but was unable to maintain an erection due to his alcohol intake.
At this point the woman texted a friend and asked them to call her so she could fake a conversation and leave the flat.
Once she received the call she made an excuse to leave.
When he was told this Mullen said “You’re not going to say anything are you?” and told her if the police spoke to her she should deny being at his flat.
After leaving the flat the woman became “hysterical” and told her friend what had happened.
Despite not knowing what part of Cardiff she was in she managed to get a taxi back to her home and later reported the incident.
When arrested Mullen denied sexually assaulting the woman and claimed she had followed him home and had sexually assaulted him.
Sentencing Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said: “It’s clear from her victim personal statement your victim was very vulnerable indeed and your actions have had a profound and severe effect on her.
“Throughout these proceedings she has shown calmness, strength, and courage.
“I am satisfied there has been an extreme impact.
“Her vulnerability was extreme and the severe psychological harm caused to her was extreme.
“When you saw her in that underpass it would have been obvious to you she was alone and cold.
“I take the view when you saw her there, walked away and turned back – there was specific targeting there.”
Mullen was sentenced to a total of 12 years imprisonment and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
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