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October 5 2012.

A man is starting a six year prison sentence after being found guilty of sexually assaulting and robbing a woman in a Seaford alleyway last March.

Sam Buckland, 23, of Old Market Street, Thetford, Norfolk, was charged in March following the incident on Thursday 8 March off Lexden Road, Seaford, in which a 28-year-old Brighton woman was sexually assaulted and robbed in an alleyway.

On Wednesday 3 October at Hove Crown Court he was found guilty of both offences after a three-day trial. He was sentenced to four years for the sexual assault, and two years for the robbery, the sentences to run consecutively. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life on his release from prison.

Last March Buckland, who was staying with a friend in Lexden Road, texted the woman, who advertises as an escort on the Internet, asking her to come to Seaford, which she did on the evening of Thursday 8 March. He quoted an address which on arrival she soon realised was not the right place and she rang his number. Buckland appeared and began to guide her into the alley telling her this was the way to his address.

But once in the alleyway he grabbed her, pushed her against the wall and carried out a sexual assault. Her struggle and screams alerted local residents and Buckland ran off, taking her bag.

The victim received cuts and bruises and was badly shaken and upset. Swift police investigation, including enquiries about the phone number he had used, and close co-operation with Norfolk Police, resulted in Buckland handing himself in at Thetford police station six days later.

Detective Sergeant David Tye said; "Buckland maintained his innocence throughout, simply saying that he did not attack or rob the woman. But the jury, having heard all the evidence, including that from the very brave victim herself, did not believe him.

"We will always thoroughly investigate such offences, and seek to prosecute wherever possible. All women are entitled to protection of the law against such vicious offenders, regardless of background or occupation ."