Police saluted a woman who fought off a 6ft 10in would-be rapist during a horrific attack in the early hours.
The victim, in her 20s, was grabbed from behind and dragged to the ground at knifepoint at 1.50am.
But locals came to the victims aid after she yelled for help in Lutterworth Road, Abington.
Her attacker fled but detectives used CCTV from local business to identify 40-year-old Matt Mellor, who was jailed for six years, eight months on Friday (June 10).
Lead Investigator, DC Adam Kelly, said “To see Matt Mellor, a very dangerous sex offender, sent down for six years and eight months is a great result.
“Mellor is a very large man, about 6ft 10in in height, and his actions that night resulted in an absolutely terrifying experience for this woman – who like all women, should have been able to walk wherever she liked without fear of such an attack.
“She showed tremendous bravery in fighting him off whilst shouting for help and I would like to commend her for her courage and the support she has given us throughout this case.
“I would also like to again thank the local residents who quickly came to her aid that night and to businesses in the area who assisted us with the CCTV which helped us to quickly piece together this crime.
“Tackling violence against women and girl is a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police and I hope this case demonstrates that.”
Mellor, previously of Kelmarsh Avenue, Leicester, began following a woman in her 20s in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, in the early hours of February 26, 2022.
He was arrested in Leicester the same day, subsequently charged, and at an earlier court hearing in April this year, admitted attempted rape, possession of a bladed article and breaching his sexual harm prevention order.
In addition to the jail term, he was handed an eight-year extended licence.
■ If you are a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, please call 101 or report via the Northamptonshire Police website.
If you’re not yet ready to talk to the police, you can get free support and advice at voicenorthants.org or by calling 0300 303 1965.