An abhorrent sexual deviant who raped a young woman had avoided jail for playing with himself on buses.

23-year-old Steven Lequesne preyed on a lone vulnerable victim, who had been on a night out in Southport in the summer of 2021.

Distrubing CCTV footage showed the woman kicking him and trying to fight him off as he raped her in some bushes.

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Christopher Fletcher, a brave passer-by, rescued the woman and put Lequesne in a chokehold while also punching him in the face. His heroic actions saw the dangerous rapist - described as being "devoid of emotion" - jailed for 10 and a half years at Liverpool Crown Court.

The Liverpool Echo has now revealed Lequesne was formerly caught performing sex acts in front of passengers, including two women and a child, on buses in 2020. As a result of those disgusting actions he was not locked up or required to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.

The pervert, of no fixed address - but formerly of Tuebrook - has 15 previous convictions for 21 offences, including harassment against his own mum in 2018.

His criminal record includes a conviction for two offences of outraging public decency in November 2020 - relating to disturbing incidents on two buses on September 24, 2020.

At his rape sentencing, Robert Wyn Jones, prosecuting, said: "He was seen by a woman masturbating on the bus and it was a woman with her child. The other was a woman on her own. Those people filmed what he was doing and uploaded it to social media. That's how he was able to be identified - someone came forward to say who it was.

"On both occasions when he was doing that he was drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniel's."

Steven aka Stephen Lequesne raped a woman just months after he was spared jail for two disturbing incidents on buses
Steven aka Stephen Lequesne raped a woman just months after he was spared jail for two disturbing incidents on buses

The grotesque incidents took place on buses at Sir Thomas Street in Liverpool city centre, and in Gorsey Lane in Litherland. Magistrates imposed a sentence of 24 weeks in prison, around five and a half months, but suspended it for two years, on November 24, 2020.

People convicted of outraging public decency are not required to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.

Sentencing him for the rape, Recorder Matthew Corbett-Jones said he was an "opportunistic and highly predatory individual" and noted the escalation in his offending.

The judge said: "This was a brutal and terrifying attack on a defenceless woman, in order for you to satisfy your desire for sexual gratification, which I have no doubt will cast a shadow across the rest of her life."

Referring to a pre-sentence report, he told Lequesne: "You have not shown any genuine regret for your actions and the author of the report makes clear the insight that you have into the harm you have caused is non-existent. You're regarded as being in effect devoid of emotion."

Recorder Corbett-Jones stated his past offences of outraging public decency were significant. He referred to them when he decided Lequesne was a "dangerous" offender, who required an extended prison sentence, because of the risk he posed to the public of serious harm.

The judge said: "I'm entirely satisfied that you do present such a risk. I conclude this because of the persistence that you showed, the use of force towards your victim, and when that's viewed in terms of the escalation from your previous offending, it presents a deeply troubling position. The risk assessment in the pre-sentence report indicates you're a very high risk and have shown a total lack of awareness as to the seriousness of your offence."

As a result of this finding of "dangerousness", the judge jailed Lequesne for 10 and a half years, with an extended licence period of four and a half years. This type of extended sentence means Lequesne must serve at least two thirds of the custodial term - seven years - behind bars.

At that stage he can then apply to the Parole Board for release, but will only be set free if he is no longer considered to be a risk. Whenever he is released, he will then be on licence for whatever of the prison sentence remains, plus the extended four and a half years.

If he breaches that licence, he can be recalled to prison to serve out the remainder of the term. Lequesne must now also sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Anyone with information about or who wants to report a sexual offence allegation can call police on 101, where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers, or you can pass information to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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