Man jailed after sexual assault of woman and burglary in Woodchurch

A man has been jailed after he broke into a woman’s home, sexually assaulted her and stole her purse.

Anthony Shackleton, aged 33, of Prenton was sentenced today, Monday 23 October, at Liverpool Crown Court.

Shackleton has received a five-year and 10-month custodial sentence with an added four years to be served on licence on his release. He is also on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

In the early hours of Wednesday 31 May, it was reported that a man had broken into a property in Woodchurch.

Whilst he was inside, the man entered an elderly woman’s room, searched her bag and took her purse and bracelet. He also sexually assaulted the woman before fleeing the scene.

Following extensive forensic examinations at the address key DNA evidence was found on a disposable vape left at the property and on the victims stolen purse and clothing which linked Shackleton to the crimes.

Shackleton was charged in June 2023 with burglary, attempted theft with violence and sexual assault on a female. He later pleaded guilty to all offences.

Speaking after the sentencing Detective Inspector Kevin O’Rourke said, “This was an incredibly shocking crime on a vulnerable person that no one should ever experience.

“At first Shackleton denied that he sexually assaulted his victim and only admitted to the crime when samples of his DNA was found on the woman’s clothing following further forensic analysis. 

“Shackleton then pleaded guilty to both offences. 

“I hope this case stands as a stark warning to anyone who takes advantage of vulnerable people in such heinous circumstances, that they will be prosecuted and face a considerable amount of time behind bars.

“Burglary offences have decreased year on year across Merseyside thanks largely to our officers involved in Operation Castle, an operation targeted at reducing burglaries, bringing offenders to justice, and ultimately sparing residents the anguish of being a victim of burglary.

“We will continue to work proactively with communities and our partners to keep this progress going.”

Click here for advice and protection against burglary:

If you’ve been affected by sexual violence of any kind please don’t be afraid to tell someone, find the courage to come forward and get the help you deserve.

You can report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences anonymously here:

There is a lot of support available from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities.

In Liverpool, Sefton, and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.

Report online: If you’d like to report online, rather than speaking to an officer by telephone in the first instance, you can use our online crime reporting service which is secure and confidential. All reports made using this service are reviewed by our 24/7 contact centre within a few hours and an officer will get back to you in a maximum of two days (although usually quicker).

You can also report any concerns to police on 999 if a crime is in progress, via 101, or via Twitter @MerPolCC.

You can also pass information via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at:

Image: Anthony Shackleton/Merseyside Police

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