A 29-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for attempting to rape a stranger in a Bolton town centre back street – after initially offering to protect her during an argument.

Door staff intervened after hearing from victim’s cries from Princess Street, at the side of Courtney’s in Bradshawgate.

Bolton Crown Court heard the door staff found the Matthew Broughton with his trousers around his ankles lying on top of the victim, whose jeans had been pulled down.

The incident happened in the early hours of Friday, November 22, last year.

David Toal, prosecuting, said the 28-year-old victim was approached by a woman outside Courtney’s who wrongfully accused her of taking her mobile phone. She was pushed to the floor by the woman, who then got on top of her.

Broughton, of Cow Lees, Westhoughton, was “trying to stick up” for the woman and the pair ended up in the alleyway, hiding from the woman who attacked the victim.

Mr Toal said Broughton tried to flirt with and kiss the defendant but became violent when she did not consent.

He “forced himself upon her”, bit her face and told her she was going to die.

He pulled her jeans down and hit her head on the floor, the court was told.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, alerted door staff by her cries and shouts of “stop it”.

Broughton then struggled with door staff, while his trousers were around his ankles, and later wrongly claimed the woman was his sister-in-law.

Mr Toal said the woman said “he has beaten me black and blue. My body is a mess”.

She had bruises and cuts on her face, a cut inside her mouth, a bite mark below her right eye and other bruises on her body.

Colin Buckle, defending, said Broughton admitted attempting to rape the woman.

Mr Buckle said: “The defendant is unable to settle this in his mind at the moment. He was on a night out, saw this argument and intervened.

"He made the most horrific decision of his life and has changed his life forever.”

Broughton, a businessman with a company in the motor trade, had no previous convictions besides a caution for burglary of a non-domestic property.

Recorder Miss Rowena Goode, sentencing, said: “Fortunately witnesses who had been involved heard the shouts and disturbed you before you could actually get to the stage of committing the act of rape upon the complainant.

“Understandably this incident has had a profound effect upon her. She has found it very difficult to come to terms with what has happened. She has feelings of revulsion about what has happened.”

Recorder Miss Goode jailed Broughton for five years and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

Det Con Hayley Thornley, from the police's serious sexual offences unit, said: "Broughton subjected this women to a degrading and violent attack on the floor of a pub refuse area because she had the nerve to reject his advances.

"Even when confronted by another man who tried to come to her aid Broughton tried to fight him off and was determined to continue his attack.

"Broughton clearly poses a risk to women and today's sentence reflects this."