Millionaire caught out by own CCTV: court
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Millionaire caught out by own CCTV: court

April 16, 2009.

A wealthy businessman sexually assaulted a mother-of-two in his mansion while closed-circuit television recorded the incident, a British court has heard.

Millionaire David Atherton, 51, tried to rape the woman in his kitchen and then threatened to drown her in his swimming pool, the Daily Mail reported.

Leeds Crown Court was told Atherton's addiction to cocaine made him paranoid, and he believed there were secret passageways in the walls of his home and that people were out to get him, the Manchester Evening News reported.

He had installed a state-of-the-art motion-sensing CCTV system in his 1.5 million home in Heaton, prosecutor James Goss told the court.

Atherton invited the woman, whom he knew, to his house on August 17 last year. He then attacked her in the kitchen, forcing her to the floor and ripping her jeans off.

He slapped and punched her and sexually assaulted her, before putting her in a headlock and bringing her to a swimming pool, the court heard.

"He was shouting that he was going to take her to the pool and was going to kill her. She was going into the pool and he kept telling her to take her top off," Mr Goss told the court.

The woman, half-naked, ran to her car which was parked outside and got into it. But Atherton followed her and tried to pull her out, the court heard.

CCTV footage showed Atherton struggling at the car door for 20 minutes to try to stop her from leaving, the Mail reported. The woman also reversed the car, with Atherton hanging off it.

Atherton eventually removed the car keys and returned to the mansion while the woman ran out into the street and flagged down a passing motorist, the court heard.

Police later arrested Atherton, whom they said appeared to be in an "intoxicated state".