Sex attacker dubbed ‘every young woman’s worst nightmare’ found dead in prison cell

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A violent sex attacker dubbed ‘every young woman’s worst nightmare’ has been found dead in his prison cell.

Luke Prato, 25, followed a 21-year-old woman home after he’d earlier failed to ‘chat her up’ in a pub before launching a terrifying sex attack.

He attacked a male friend she was walking with before he forced himself on the victim, groped her before he told her: “I want you right now”.

Prato, of Exeter, Devon, was jailed for four years in March 2020 for the horrific attack. He was also given a two-year extended licence and classified as a dangerous offender.



GV of HMP Isle of Wight
Convicted sex attacker Luke Prato, described as ‘every young woman’s worst nightmare’, has died in HMP Isle of Wight

He’d been transferred from Exeter Prison to HMP Isle of Wight, where he died on November 27, Devon Live reports.

It is believed he was awaiting a transfer to Broadmoor Secure Hospital due to his mental health. An inquest will be held into his death at a later date.

A prison service spokesperson said: “HMP Isle of Wight prisoner Luke Prato died on November 27. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”



GV of Belmont Park
Belmont Park, where Prato tried to drag his victim and attack her

Prato was described as ‘every young woman’s worst nightmare’ when he was jailed Exeter Crown Court last year.

He was convicted of sexual assault on the woman and causing actual bodily harm to her male friend at a trial in January 2020.

The court heard he’d tried to ‘chat up’ the young woman on the dance floor of the Angel pub in Exeter earlier in the evening but she told him to leave her alone.

He saw her walking home with a friend a couple of hours later and shadowed them through the streets of the city before attacking them both at the entrance to Belmont Park at 3am.

Prato set on the man first and once he had backed off he launched a sexual attack, the court heard.

He told the terrified victim, ‘I want you right now’, and said he was going to have sex with her in the park as he thrust his hand up her skirt and groped her.

He grabbed her around the throat and tried to drag her into the park and fought off her friend when he tried to stop him, knocking him to the ground so violently he suffered a gash to his head.



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The woman managed to escape and run across the road to try to seek refuge in a house but in the time it took for her to wake the owner, Prato followed her and attacked her again.

He was trying to drag her back towards the park with his hands around her throat when the householder opened her door and rushed out to rescue her.

He fled the scene before police arrived but they tracked him down to his bedsit nearby. Forensic evidence and CCTV from the Angel showed he was the attacker. More footage showed him shadowing the victim from Sidwell Street to the park.

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