A MAN who sexually assaulted a woman and attacked a teenage girl has been jailed.

Oliver Purvis is set to spend four and a half years behind bars after admitting to both assaults, which happened on consecutive days.

The first took place on May 28, 2020, and saw a woman in her 20s assaulted in Chelmsford Road, Dunmow, at 10.10pm.

As she entered an alleyway, she was approached from behind by a man who grabbed her, sexually assaulted her, and pushed her to the floor.

She managed to fight the man off and he ran away.

When she later spoke to officers to report the incident, she was able to give a distinctive description of her attacker.

A day later, a teenage girl was also approached from behind as she walked through Flitch Green by a man who pushed her to the floor.

She screamed and managed to fight him off before he ran away.

On both occasions the man had his face covered – by a snood in the first instance and by a white surgical mask during the second.

Officers obtained Ring doorbell and CCTV footage of a man walking in the area of the second incident at around the time it happened.

The man was later identified as Purvis following an appeal and he was arrested.

During a search of Purvis’ home address in Tanton Avenue, Dunmow, officers discovered clothes the man pictured in the CCTV had been wearing as well as a dark coloured snood.

A plaster had been found at the scene of the first attack and forensic tests showed DNA matching Purvis’ was found on the inside and DNA matching the victim’s was found on the outside.

Purvis was charged with sexual assault and assault with intent to commit a sexual act.

He admitted both charges when appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court in November.

He reappeared at the same court today (Friday, January 8) and was jailed for four and-a-half years.

Speaking after sentencing, investigating officer, Det Con Kerry Turner, said: “Oliver Purvis assaulted two complete strangers, including a child, in what were frightening attacks for the victims.

“Both victims were able to fight him off ensuring he was not able to do them further harm.

“We were able to identify Purvis and arrest quickly due a thorough investigation ensuring he did not pose a danger to anyone else.

“I want to praise the courage of the victims throughout this process and hope this sentencing will help them to move forward.”