A SEX offender who broke into a woman’s home and attacked her as she was getting out of the shower attempted to frustrate court hearings from the moment he was charged, it was heard.

As reported, ‘dangerous’ Stephen Thomas was handed an extended sentence last week after he was convicted of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence, as well as two counts of burglary and one of fraud.

The 34-year-old broke into the single woman’s ground-floor Boscombe flat and waited until she had finished showering. He then dragged the naked woman to the ground. She was able to fight him off and ran to the window screaming for help.

Thomas did not appear in court during his trial, although he was brought from prison to Bournemouth each day. He also failed to return to the courtroom for sentence, choosing instead to remain in the cells.

Recorder Don Tait said Thomas, who is of no fixed abode, had tried to delay proceedings throughout. “He failed to participate in the trial. There is a long history of this defendant attempting to manipulate court process,” the judge said.

Thomas never formally entered pleas, despite appearing before judges on a number of occasions. On several appearances, he said his solicitors were in Scotland and asked for them to be called. Adjournments were made to accommodate his bogus requests.

He also repeatedly refused to leave prison for hearings. Eventually, a judge decided a trial must go ahead on the grounds that Thomas refused to be arraigned.

The defendant claimed crucial prosecution papers hadn’t been served, even when arrangements were made to serve him directly in prison.

On the day his trial began, Thomas refused to leave his cell. A jury was empanelled and the trial began. Jurors unanimously convicted Thomas on all counts.

Even when he was sentenced, Thomas was asking for solicitors in Croydon to be called. It was discovered that he wasn’t one of their clients. Thomas then refused to speak, instead nodding or shaking his head and talking only to the dock officer.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison with an extended licence period of a year.