Read police chase drama: man is jailed

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A man who carried out historic sex attacks on two women and was later involved in dramatic police chase in Read and Simonstone has been jailed.

Craig Oldfield (42), of Como Avenue, Burnley, who drove a car at a police officer in the Read incident, was jailed for three years and nine months at Burnley Crown Court.

He had admitted two historic counts of indecent assault, as well as more recent charges of dangerous driving, theft, handling stolen goods and three counts of criminal damage, going equipped for theft and burglary with intent to steal, at an earlier hearing. Judge Beverly Lunt disqualified him from driving for 12 months and ordered him to take an extended retest. He was also made the subject of a notification requirement.

On August 30th last year, police were called to Read where a landowner had reported a Toyota Rav 4 had been abandoned. A passer-by told him she had seen three men acting suspiciously and when she asked them what they were doing they told her they were looking for scrap metal.

The landowner blocked the access road and when the men returned to collect the Toyota they drove through a farmer’s fence, garden fencing and at speed into a police car, causing £1,000-worth of damage. The police helicopter was scrambled and Oldfield was found at the junction of School Lane and Clough Lane. He asked one policeman: “Were you the officer I crashed into?”

The court heatd Oldfield indecently assaulted his first victim in May/June 2002. The woman had been assaulted in a pub and ended up at a house in Burnley with the defendant, who gave her two tablets she thought were paracetamol when she had asked for cannabis. The woman said the tablets made her feel drowsy and when the defendant began kissing her she was unable to push him away. Oldfield removed her clothes and the victim said she felt numb and unable to stop the attack.

The court heard the woman did not report the incident until 2011.

The second indecent assault happened around the same time when the second victim was smoking cannabis with the defendant. She said she felt dizzy and confused and was unable to control her movements.

She said she was “almost zombie-like” when Oldfield led her upstairs, put her on the bed and pulled down her jeans. She tried to resist but must have blacked out. The next thing she remembered was waking on a sofa downstairs naked, shivering and sore.

Mr Philip Holden (defending) said:“He’s been on the fringes of criminality most of his life. He has been blighted by drugs but has been trying over the years to rid himself of drugs.” He was also said to be close to his youngest children.

Sentencing him Judge Lunt said: “Both these women trusted you.”