Lee ShiersImage source, Avon and Somerset Police

Image caption,

Shiers has a history of violent offending towards women, the court was told

A man who admitted punching and kidnapping a teenage girl has been jailed for more than five years.

Lee Shiers, 36, of Horsey Lane, Bridgwater, dragged the 16-year-old towards his car as she walked home, Taunton Crown Court was told.

The victim was punched repeatedly by Shiers and told the court how she fought for her life, eventually managing to fight him off and run away.

Two people who witnessed the attack drove after her and offered their help.

The victim was walking home from an evening with her friends in Taunton, when Shiers dragged her towards his car.

Shiers, who has previous convictions for kidnap and grievous bodily harm, was sentenced on Monday.

He was given 63 months imprisonment for kidnapping and three years imprisonment concurrent for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

‘History of violent offences’

Detectives quickly identified Shiers as the possible offender after the members of the public who came to the victim’s aid provided a description of his distinctive vehicle – a three-door Renault Meganne.

He was arrested two days later but denied responsibility for the attack or the kidnap.

Avon and Somerset police said a thorough investigation that included a comprehensive review of CCTV from the area, house-to-house enquiries and forensic examinations proved his involvement.

He subsequently admitted to officers he had attacked the girl and later in court pleaded guilty to kidnap.

Jailing him for five years and four months, Recorder Stead said while the motivation for the attack was unknown, he believed Shiers had planned it.

He said Shiers had a history of violent offending towards women and that he “posed a risk of causing harm to the public”.

He will remain on licence for an extended period of three years following his release from prison.

The victim read out a personal statement at the hearing.

“Since the incident I no longer walk anywhere by myself,” she said.

“I am now afraid to go out in the dark [and] the attack has made me wary around older men.

“I fought for my life on that night, and I find it hard to describe the terror that I felt during the attack.”

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