"Wolf in sheep's clothing" ex-Ipswich town pastor from Kesgrave jailed for attacking woman in Brighton
A former Ipswich town pastor described as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" has been jailed for a vicious nighttime attack on a woman walking home in Brighton.
Stephen Jay, 58, of Wrights Lane, Kesgrave, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment at Hove Crown Court after previously being convicted of causing actual bodily harm.
After the sentencing Detective Inspector Mick Jones said: “Stephen Jay is a former town pastor from Ipswich who was training to be a life coach to provide help to those who need it including the vulnerable. He was also a prominent member of his local church.
“Far from protecting the vulnerable, this investigation has shown him to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“Jay admitted that during that evening leading up to the attack and the early hours of the morning immediately afterwards, he was having a sexual conversation with another woman who he was having an online affair, discussing his liking for bondage, domination and sado-masochism.
“After the assault, he admitted masturbating in his car in a public place.
At about 3am on August 14 last year Jay’s 26-year-old victim was walking home alone after a night out. She became aware Jay following and confronted him. After continuing to walk on Jay then hit her in the face several times.
A witness saw his hand around her throat and another over her mouth as he straddled her while on the ground. Concerned neighbours heard the screams and came to her aid. They gathered up her belongings that had fallen from her bag during the unprovoked attack. A baseball cap which had been put in her bag was found to have Jay’s DNA on it.
Jay was convicted of the attack in May at Lewes Crown Court, but the jury was hung on whether the assault had a sexual motive or not.
After a retrial on the sexual element of the case at Brighton Crown Court in July a second jury was also unable to agree a verdict.
At his first trial in May, Jay had also been acquitted of causing actual bodily harm and sexual assaulting a 21-year old woman in Brighton on September 1.
In July 2015 Jay was found not guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman near Liquid nightclub in Ipswich.