A man entered a woman's property late at night and exposed himself to her before making an obscene comment, a court has heard. The terrified woman armed herself with a pair of scissors and hid under a bed as Daniel Sykes tried to get into her home, but the intruder found her in the bedroom.

At the time of the terrifying Christmas incident the defendant was on police bail having just days earlier armed himself with a makeshift weapon fashioned from a large electrical socket in a sock and threatened members of his family. Sending the defendant down, a judge at Swansea Crown Court told him his late night intrusion into the woman's house must have left her "absolutely petrified".

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said at around 11pm on the night of December 28 last year the complainant was home alone at her property when she heard someone banging on the back door and swearing and demanding to be let in. Not knowing who was causing the disturbance the woman tried to ignore what was going but the banging and shouting continued. The court heard the woman called the police and retreated to a bedroom where she grabbed a pair of scissors and hid under a bed.

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The prosecutor said the woman then heard someone walking around inside her property and saw the defendant entering her room. Sykes saw where the woman was hiding and, as she cowered under the bed, he exposed himself and told her she was going to perform a sex act on him. The prosecutor said the woman feared for her life but was able to get out from under the bed and deal with the intruder "robustly" - still holding the scissors in one hand she was able to push him out of the room with the other.

When police arrived they carried out an area search looking for the defendant but he was nowhere to be found. Sykes was arrested at his grandparents flat on December 31 and subsequently answered "no comment" to all questions asked in interview. The court heard that at the time of the incident the 32-year-old defendant was on police bail following his arrest on December 22. This earlier incident had seen him returning home from the pub in a drunken condition and making threats against members of his family while holding a makeshift weapon - a large electrical socket in a sock.

In a statement read to the court the woman whose house the defendant invaded said she was still "completely shocked" about the incident, and said it had left her feeling paranoid about safety and "obsessively" checking the doors are locked. She said she would never feel the same way about her home again. For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

Daniel Sykes, of Brookdale Street, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and to trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. An offence of exposure was not pursued, and the charge was allowed to lay on the file. The defendant has two previous convictions for three offences namely using violence to gain entry to premises - an incident involving a former partner - possession of cocaine, and driving without due care and attention. Ian Wright, for Sykes, said the defendant's principle mitigation were his guilty pleas. He said his client was lightly convicted and said the December 28 offence marked a serious escalation in offending. Accepting it must have been a frightening experience for the woman involved, the barrister said it had been a relatively short-lived incident and there had been no physical contact.

Judge Paul Thomas KC said the victim would have been left "absolutely petrified" by the defendant's actions, and he said the incident has "understandably and almost inevitably" had a profound effect on her life. He said what had happened to get Sykes into the state where he did what he did had not been explained nor explored but that did not really matter for the purposes of sentencing. With a 20 per cent discount for his guilty pleas Sykes was sentenced to four years in prison comprising four years for the sexual offence and two months for the weapon offence to run concurrently. Sykes will serve up to half that sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community. The defendant will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

Accessing support if you've been a victim of abuse

Support for survivors of sexual abuse is available from many different charities and organisations. The following non-exhaustive list includes contact details for services that may help if you've been affected by the issues raised in this article.


  • 0808 802 0808 (freephone)
  • 07717 989 022 (textline)
  • lifecentre.uk.com
  • Support for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and anyone supporting them. Includes a helpline, text support, and email counselling.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

  • 0808 801 0331
  • support@napac.org.uk
  • napac.org.uk
  • Supports adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. Offers a helpline, email support, and local services.

One in Four

  • 0800 121 7114
  • oneinfour.org.uk
  • Offers advocacy services, counselling, and resources for adults who have experienced trauma or domestic or sexual abuse in childhood.


  • 0808 800 5005 (National Male Survivor helpline)
  • safeline.org.uk
  • Helplines for adults and young people who have experienced sexual abuse and rape.

The Survivors Trust

  • 0808 8010 818
  • thesurvivorstrust.org
  • Lists local specialist services for survivors of sexual violence, including advocates and independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs).

Rape Crisis England & Wales

  • 0808 802 9999
  • rapecrisis.org.uk
  • Support for women and girls affected by rape, sexual abuse, or any form of sexual violence. Provides details of local centres.

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