Oliver Purvis of Flitch Green is jailed for assaulting a woman and a teenager

Oliver Purvis - man with dark hair wearing grey top

Custody picture of Oliver Purvis, of Tanton Avenue, Dunmow. - Credit: Essex Police

A man who assaulted two strangers - one a teenage girl and the other a woman - has been jailed for a total of four and a half years by Chelmsford Crown Court.

Oliver Purvis, 25, of Tanton Road, Flitch Green, admitted charges of sexual assault and assault with intent to commit a sexual act.

The attacks happened on consecutive days in May. The first took place on May 28. The woman in her 20s had been walking along Chelmsford Road at around 10.10pm.

As she entered an alleyway coming off Chelmsford Road she was approached from behind by a man who grabbed her, sexually assaulted her, and pushed her to the ground.

She managed to fight the man off and he ran away. She was able to give police a distinctive description of the man including that he had been wearing a plaster on his finger.

The following evening a teenage girl was also approached from behind as she walked through Flitch Green by a man who pushed her to the ground. 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.

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In an extensive investigation, officers obtained Ring doorbell footage and CCTV footage of a man walking in the area of the second incident at around the time it happened.

Essex Police issued the image as part of a public appeal and the man was identified as Oliver Purvis, 25, and arrested.

During a search of Purvis’ home on June 1, police officers discovered clothes the man pictured in  CCTV had been wearing as well as a dark coloured snood.

A plaster was 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.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on November 11, Purvis admitted charges of sexual assault and assault with intent to commit a sexual act. He was sentenced on Friday, January 8.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Kerry Turner from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate 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.”