A SERIAL sex attacker was jailed for 15 years today for historic knife-related assaults on a woman and two teenagers walking alone.

One of his victims was a 14-year-old Southampton girl who was walking through the city sports centre to see a friend to show her off new bob haircut.

The city crown court heard how the victim had initially seen the man, Derek Young, some distance away, but as she turned a corner, she saw him standing beside some steps.

She immediately took the steps to avoid him and began crossing a cricket pitch when she heard him squelching through the mud and then began running after her.

Prosecutor Kate Maylin said the girl, who was frightened and scared, was then grabbed, told to sit down by Young who straddled her.

She suddenly realised he was armed with an eight inch knife, and after complying with his orders, he raped her before running off.

Although she was equipped with a rape alarm, she had been frightened to use it.

Young told police he had been high on drugs at the time and it had been his "fantasy" to have sex with someone against their will and he had specifically driven to Southampton for that purpose.

He told them: "She was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Young, a 52-year-old sandwich bar worker of Middle Street, Southsea, admitted rape, which happened in November, 1994.

He also pleaded guilty to the attempted rape of a 19-year-old woman in a bus shelter at Southsea in October, 1990, after wielding a knife. She fought him off.

Said to have 10 previous convictions dating back to the 70s including one for gross indecency, Young also admitted indecently assaulting a woman in Victoria Park, Portsmouth in November, 1993. He told her he had a knife.

Judge Derwin Hope said the attacks had been terrifying experiences for the victims.

After the hearing, Detective Inspector Chief Inspector Rachel Farrell said she welcomed the length of sentence. The Southampton rape victim said she was satisfied with the term.