A Partridge Green man who ‘lured victims into relationships’ has been convicted of violent attacks on two women.
Neil Scott-O’Connor, 23, a household appliance engineer, was found guilty at Hove Crown Court today of a string of offences, according to Sussex Police.
Officers say that he was convicted after a 14-day trial of six offences against a 29-year-old woman at an address in Brighton; one offence of threats to kill; one of attempted strangulation with intent to commit a sexual offence; two offences of causing actual bodily harm and one of harassment with intent to cause fear.
He was also found gulty of three offences against a young Crawley woman, one of attempted strangulation with intent to commit a sex offence and two of causing actual bodily harm.
Police say that he was found not guilty of one offence of causing actual bodily harm to the 29-year-old woman. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Scott-O’Connor had his own business as an emergency appliance repair man, say police, and drove around Sussex fixing appliances in houses or in businesses.
Police first became aware of his activities when a 17-year-old woman from Crawley came forward. A police spokesman said: “She had extensive bruising on her body and reported that she had been strangled almost to the point of unconsciousness by someone she had met on Facebook, during their first date.
“This man was Scott-O’Connor. He was arrested in December 2018 and was released on bail whilst an investigation began.
“The scope of his sexualised offending soon became apparent when the 29-year-old woman from Brighton then came forward reporting similar attacks and non-consensual strangulation during their short relationship.
“She too had photographs of extensive bruising and injuries inflicted by him.
“When the relationship ended Scott-O’Connor made multiple threats to the victim which included him threatening to burn her house down, to cut the brake lines on her car, and shoot her and her son.
“Fearing he was capable of carrying out these threats she immediately reported him to police. He was further arrested and interviewed during which he continued to deny any wrong doing.
“Officers conducted a thorough examination of his mobile phone and revealed a wealth of information including an Amazon shopping list of weapons and restraints, hundreds of screenshots of female Facebook profiles and the purchase of tracking devices.
“His internet search history raised concern further, as did his choice of horror movies depicting rape and torture.”
Detective Sergeant Andy Ricks said after the hearing; “My team worked tirelessly to build a solid evidential case over the past year. Neil Scott-O’Connor posed a significant risk, luring his victims into relationships through charm and flattery, in one case via social media, then turning to violence and fear to act out his dark sexual fantasies.
“His obsession with strangulation was a common feature in the investigation and it’s only by good fortune that one of his victims was not killed.”
He added: “We would also like to thank the victims for having the courage to come forward and support us in putting this dangerous offender behind bars.”
Scott-O’Connor was remanded in custody for pre-sentence reports, prior to sentencing on January 17.