A man has been found guilty of sexual assault after he attacked a schoolgirl as she walked home in Stock.
Jamie Sharpe, 43, of Langham Crescent, Billericay, was convicted on Monday December 16 by a jury at Basildon Crown Court.
He is due to be sentenced on Monday February 3.
At around 8pm on Friday June 28, the victim, a teenage girl, was walking alone in Stock Road.
She was approached by Sharpe from behind who grabbed her by the waist, pushed her into some bushes and dragged her along a gravel path.
Members of the public heard the victim’s screams and ran to help. Sharpe ran off, taking the victims shoes with him.
Officers responded quickly and conducted a wide search, with the assistance of police drones and located and arrested Sharpe some distance away.
He had run across fields and a golf course, had removed his top and was sweating heavily.
His partner arrived shortly afterwards.
Investigations revealed that Sharpe had phoned her in a panicked state and asked her to pick him up, but did not tell her why.
Senior Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Sharpe preyed on a teenage girl who was walking home after spending time with friends.
“He grabbed her from behind and dragged her away from the road. She bravely fought him off and screamed for help.
“The quick actions of people nearby scared Sharpe off.
“I would like to thank them for their swift and decisive actions, which undoubtedly prevented him from causing her serious harm.
“Sharpe was later charged and remanded in custody. However, he did not admit his offending which meant that the victim had to re-live the incident as she gave evidence during the trial.
“The victim stood up to him on the night and she stood up to him in court, giving her evidence in a calm and detailed manner.
“I would like to thank her for the high level of bravery and composure that she has demonstrated throughout the investigation and the trial.
“Sharpe’s actions are a total contrast, he targeted a child walking alone and later would not admit his crime.
“I consider him a dangerous offender and I hope that his sentence protects the public from him for a long period of time.”