Cyclists who sexually assaulted ten women and two girls for two days are sentenced to three years in prison
Oliver Smith, 27, (pictured) who sexually assaulted ten women and two girls over a two-day period for getting ‘angry’ at them for wearing Lycra, is imprisoned for three years at Swansea Crown Court
A man who sexually assaulted ten women and two girls over a two-day period for getting “angry” at them for wearing Lycra has been jailed for three years.
Oliver Smith, 27, cycled to his victims while jogging or walking and grabbed their bottoms before they drove off.
The violations took place on February 12-13 this year in the Swansea area, with eight of the attacks taking place in just four hours.
Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that there were a total of 18 victims – aged 12 to 45 – including one woman who was assaulted twice and others who were with their children.
“At the time of the crimes, the suspect was wearing dark or black hooded clothes over his head,” said Mr. Pulling.
The crimes were committed during lockdown and when the victims were allowed to exercise or did necessary things, such as going to work or the store.
The fact that they were attacked at the time when there were heightened concerns about the coronavirus and social aloofness only added to the stress and anxiety they felt at the time.
The attacks that weekend received widespread media coverage and these assaults in public places, seemingly indiscriminate attacks on women and girls, caused widespread fear and anger among women in Swansea.
Smith was arrested on a police call after being acknowledged by a former school friend and admitted his crimes.
“He told police he gets angry about women wearing lycra,” said Mr. Pulling. He claimed he was targeting women with short coats and bottoms showing. According to him, it was not fair that men should see that.
“He said he felt bad seeing some of his victims cry and he felt that all the women were dressed to seduce men.”
Smith told police he committed his first attack in December last year and thought he had assaulted about 15 women.
He confessed to ten allegations of sexual assault, one charge of sexual assault against a child under the age of 13, and one charge of attempted sexual assault.
Smith, of Glanbrydan Avenue, Swansea, also asked for seven other offenses of sexual assault to be considered for sentencing.
Dean Pulling, prosecution, told Swansea Crown Court (pictured) there were a total of 18 victims – aged 12 to 45 – including one woman who was assaulted twice and others who were with their children
Gerard Cullen, defensively, said a psychiatrist believes Smith showed signs of autism but declines to undergo an assessment.
“The theme running through the entire preliminary investigation and psychiatric report shows what can only be described as very bizarre ideas, ideologies and thinking on behalf of Mr. Smith,” he said.
It is true to say that he suffers from very rigid mindsets and some very strange ideas of how women should dress in public.
“I have tried to make it clear to Mr. Smith that he really has those kinds of ideas that he is entitled to, but that he has no real right to act on those ideas as he has done.
‘This is so strange and I can’t call it a moment of madness. It started in December and he went out in February. ‘
Judge Guy Walters jailed Smith for three years, placed him on the sex offender registry for life, and issued an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
“This is a very unusual case by everyone’s standards,” he said. “Apparently, last December, and especially on February 12 and 13, you systematically sexually assaulted your victims.
It really should be described as a campaign of sex crimes, which at the time caused widespread terror among women in and around the Swansea area.
While the touching in this case involves grabbing the buttocks and nothing else, this morning you will have heard reports from your victims of the profound effect it had on them.
Many speak of the sense of offense that you have attacked them in that way. Some have described profound effects that continue to this day.
“You clearly went out to do this in those two days. You wore a hoodie, dark clothes, a hood over your head and used a bicycle to cycle to your victims and get away quickly.
“The psychiatrist is of the opinion that your insult is not the result of a psychiatric illness, although you have a bizarre ideology; I personally cannot claim to fully understand that. ‘
Detective Inspector Gareth Jones said: “Oliver Smith’s insult has brought considerable fear and grief to his victims and I hope this conviction will bring them some comfort and show the seriousness of his actions.
Everyone has the right to live their life without being harassed or attacked.
“I commend these women and teens for coming forward and talking to the police.
“The South Wales Police Department will not tolerate any form of sexual abuse and we will do everything we can to bring the perpetrators to justice.”