A convicted Scarborough sex offender with a “fetish for high heels” has been jailed for 16 months for attempting to swipe a woman’s shoe off her foot.
Police yesterday praised the victim for her courage in coming forward and bringing the shoe pervert to justice.
Jess Collinson, 24, of Cooks Gardens, off Lancaster Close, Scalby, is subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for previous offending of a similar nature.
He attempted to steal the woman’s shoe as she walked home from a takeaway on her birthday night out last October.
His barrister, Taryn Turner, told York Crown Court that her client “likes stiletto heeled shoes, particularly those which are larger than 5in, and gets gratification from holding such shoes”.
Jailing Collinson, Judge Stephen Ashurst told him: “You are a high risk to the public, particularly to lone females, and you have a fetish with high heeled shoes with stiletto heels.”
Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, told the court: “At the end of the evening, on the way home, she called into a takeaway,” he said.
“She was sitting on the bench outside with a friend as they ate their takeaway when she noticed a man hanging around nearby.
“She began the short walk home alone and saw the same male walking close behind her. He tried to engage her in conversation and she became very concerned.
“She had almost reached the safety of her home when the defendant approached her and attempted to remove her shoe.
“She kicked out with some force and the defendant made off.”
The defendant, who was convicted of robbery for an earlier offence when he succeeded in taking a shoe off another woman, was made the subject of a Sexual Prevention Order in 2010 and was placed under a three-year Community Order.
Mr Mitcheson added: “There was a clear underlying sexual motive in this case. The woman has clearly been extremely unnerved by the offence and that has had an affect on her life.”
He said the victim was more vulnerable because the offence took place late at night and she had been walking alone, although the degree of force used had been minimal.
Collinson, who insisted he had been at home with his partner on the night of the incident, later pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted theft.
Mrs Turner told the court: “Rarely do such cases come before the court.”
Referring to a psychiatric report, she added: “Mr Collinson likes stiletto heeled shoes, particularly those which are larger than five inches, and gets sexual gratification from holding such shoes.
“For his victim it must have been a very frightening experience. It was not his intent to harm her and he did not intend for her to feel threatened.
“The gravity of this offence is the fact he has caused the distress. It was to satisfy his own sexual needs and urges.
“He has problems which he acknowledges and he would be willing to take any help that could be provided.
“This man is moved by desires and needs that he doesn’t know how to cope with.
It is low level offending but it is the nature of the offence which makes it troubling.”
According to a psychiatric report written in 2010, Collinson “has a lack of empathy, understanding and motivation” and so no therapy could be offered by the court.
Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “You have the conviction of robbery in similar circumstances.
“You were in breach of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order and the Community Order when committing this offence.
“You spotted the woman you later followed when you heard her high heeled shoes going down the street. There is no doubt she was terrified.
“Since then, suffered from a lack of confidence and felt very upset. She worries that she might be attacked again.
“You are not motivated to change and so cannot be helped medically at this stage. You are a high risk to the public, particularly to lone females, and you have a fetish with high heeled shoes with stiletto heels.
“The previous Community Order did not prevent you from committing this offence and neither did the Sexual Offences Prevention Order.”
Collinson was given a custodial sentence of 16 weeks and a restraining order has been placed on him to prevent any contact with his victim.
Police praise victim’s courage
Sgt Mike Moorhouse said: “I would like to commend the lady involved for the courage she has shown in coming forward and reporting this matter – as a result Collinson will be in prison for many months. Upon his release, Collinson will be subject to intensive and intrusive monitoring by police and other agencies. If we have a shred of evidence he is not complying with his orders, we will seek to prosecute him.”