A 58-YEAR-OLD man has been convicted of violently assaulting a woman while she was walking home.

Stephen Jay, self-employed, of Wrights Lane, Kesgrave, Ipswich was found guilty of the offence in May at Lewes Crown Court after the attack took place in August 2016.

The jury was hung on whether this assault was with intent to commit a sexual act.

After a retrial on the sexual element of the case at Brighton Crown Court between July 3-11, a second jury was unable to agree a verdict. Jay had previously been found not guilty of causing actual bodily harm and sexual assault on another 21-year-old woman walking in Hanover Terrace, Brighton on September 1 at his first trial.

Detective inspector Mick Jones said: "Stephen Jay is a former town pastor from Ipswich who was training to be a life coach to provide help to those who need it including the vulnerable. 

"His work as a town pastor meant that he used to work during evenings in the city centre of Ipswich providing support for those often found vulnerable through drink and drugs."

HHJ Laing deferred sentencing until August 29, as psychiatric reports are needed. He has been remanded in custody until then.