Gunman fixated with newsreaders robbed Ann Summers store

A convicted sex attacker with an “unhealthy fixation” with BBC newsreaders Fiona Bruce and Emily Maitlis “brutally” robbed and raped an Ann Summers store assistant at gunpoint, a court heard yesterday.

Having warned her that her “brains would be blown out” if she resisted, David Decoteau allegedly bound and gagged his “terrified” victim before pocketing £1,500 from the safe.

Jurors heard that despite an intensive police investigation, the shop assistant’s assailant was not found, although DNA evidence was carefully stored.

 

Ms Hunter said nine months later Decoteau attacked a 15-year-old schoolgirl at a bus stop after a 1996 Christmas Eve party.

He was arrested shortly afterwards and jailed for 12 years.

Following his release in 2005 police decided to keep him under surveillance and discovered he had an “unhealthy interest, a fixation with BBC newsreaders Emily Maitlis and Fiona Bruce”, said Ms Hunter

She continued: “He had a predisposition to approaching lone females and engaging them in conversation.

“As a result, he was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.”

Having explained Decoteau also had a conviction for going equipped to commit robbery – he approached a woman while armed with an imitation handgun – Ms Hunter told jurors an alleged breakthrough in the Ann Summers rape came in the wake of a Home Office directive to re-visit unsolved sex attacks.

The barrister claimed it resulted in a one-in-a-billion match with the defendant.

The court heard that when he was arrested, he “coincidentally” had on him an Ann Summers flyer, while a search of his home yielded not only notes depicting a “preoccupation with sex in all its forms, including brutal sex”, but six rolls of tapes and a photo of one of the newsreaders.

Decoteau, of Albany Road, Camberwell, south east London, denies rape, indecent assault, robbery, possessing a handgun to commit that offence, and false imprisonment.

The four-man, eight-woman jury was told because there was no dispute the February 1996 attack had taken place, the store assistant – who could only be identified as Miss A – would not be giving evidence.

Ms Hunter said the issue was one of identification, with the defendant challenging the integrity of the DNA procedure that had allegedly identified him.

 

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