Billericay rapist changed his name and left UK without telling police

Jeremy Duffy, formerly known as Jeremiah Sheridan

Article by Ellis Whitehouse: A rapist who left a disabled woman with life threatening injuries changed his name and left the country without telling police.

Jeremy Duffy, formerly known as Jeremiah Sheridan, served nine years in jail for rape.

But last year he changed his name by deed poll, obtained a new passport and driving licence and travelled to San Francisco and France.

In December 2020 officers found him travelling by ferry and informed Essex Police.

The 48-year-old of Oak Lane, Crays Hill, admitted raping a woman who lived with cerebral palsy at her home in Stocksbridge near Sheffield in 1991.

 At Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Samantha Wright, prosecuting, said: “He was interviewed and said he was aware that he had to notify but that he must have forgotten and it slipped his mind.

“The new name, he said he was trying to move on with his life and that it slipped his mind. He went to San Francisco with his new passport and no questions were asked.”

Duffy had pretended to be selling carpets and furniture when he knocked at his victim’s home, but the vicious attack left her with life threatening injuries.

He only became a suspect by chance after a review of the case in 2006 found DNA preserved from the rape scene matched his. He was jailed for 16 years in 2009, but this was reduced to nine years on appeal.

Mitigating, Mark Dacey said:

“He wants to move forward. He’s trying to secure a financial future for his family. He went to America, couldn’t make it out there and started a business in France. He did everything legitimately in France. He is keen to make amends where he can.”

Recorder William Clegg QC said:

“This was a deliberate and planned non-compliance with these notification requirements which involved changing your name by deed poll so those responsible for tracking your movements would not know where they were going.”

He received a six month suspended sentences and was told if he breached conditions again he would be jailed.

Article by Ellis Whitehouse, The Echo