‘Predator’ jailed for spiking woman’s drink before recording sex assault at hotel

·2-min read
Sean Howarth, 31, was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison. (PA)
Sean Howarth, 31, was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison. (PA)

A ‘predator’ has been jailed after he spiked a woman’s drink with cocaine, sexually assaulted her in a hotel and emptied her bank account.

Sean Howarth, 31, was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester on Friday.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said Howarth met his 19-year-old victim when she was with friends in a nightclub in Manchester city centre in February 2019 and spiked her drink with cocaine.

When she became unwell, he lured her away to the Royal Toby Hotel in Rochdale.

Howarth carried his unconscious victim to his hotel room and recorded himself sexually assaulting her, before using her thumbprint to access her phone and transfer the money from her bank into his, as well as photographing her personal details.

Read more: Forces across UK receive hundreds of spiking reports over past two months

General view of Manchester Crown Court ,Minshull Street, in Manchester city centre.   (Photo by Dave Thompson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sean Howarth was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. (Getty)

Read more: How to stay safe from spiking on a night out

Detective Constable Russell Clarke said: “The circumstances of this case are truly shocking and involved the premeditated violation of a young woman.

“Howarth gave her no consideration as he exploited her in order to satisfy his own sexual and financial greed.

“He went out that night and, at some stage, decided he was going to drug, lure away and sexually abuse this young woman who was simply enjoying a night out with friends.

“If that wasn’t enough, he then further exploited her by stealing her money, phone and personal information.

“The impact that this has had on her is immeasurable and my thoughts are with her as she continues to come to terms with what happened. She has shown considerable courage in the face of everybody’s worst nightmare.”

Mr Clarke said Howarth failed to take responsibility for his “predatory behaviour” and changed his story a number of times before pleading guilty on the day his trial was due to start.

Howarth, of Newsome Road, Huddersfield, admitted administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence, sexual assault, offering to supply a class A drug, theft and fraud.

Mr Clarke added: “Howarth will now have the necessary time to consider what he has done.

“We have seen in recent weeks the impact drink-spiking has on victims – we will investigate all reports thoroughly.

“I hope this conviction will act as a warning to all others capable of such crimes that we will do everything within our power to bring them to justice.”

Howarth was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life, police said.

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