Attacker sentenced following brutal rape
A 22-year-old man from Slovakia was this week jailed for at least 14 years following the brutal assault and rape of a woman in Leeds earlier this year.
Zdenko Turtak, from Kosice, was handed a 14 year custodial sentence and a six year extended licence at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday 20th October after pleading guilty to the charges earlier in the month.
The 18-year-old victim had been stood at a bus stop in Beeston Road at about 10.40pm on Friday 6th March when she was grabbed from behind and dragged into a nearby garden.
Hidden from view behind a large hedge, she was struck over the head 18 times with a rock and raped.
Following extensive investigation work by West Yorkshire Police and other crime agencies, it was determined that Turtak was the wanted man, and he had fled back to Slovakia just three weeks after the attack.
After working with international officers, he was arrested in Bratislava, and flown back to Liverpool where a police van transported him to the custody suite at Leeds District Headquarters, in Elland Road.
Of note, the van was driven by the first officer on the scene on the night of the attack. Detectives had arranged for him to do it after he requested ‘the honour’ of being involved in his detention having ‘witnessed first-hand what this male did to the victim’.
Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, who led the investigation, said following the sentencing: “This was a massively challenging investigation due to the circumstances we were faced with, set against the understandably high level of public concern and what we know now about the offender that made him difficult to track down.
“The fact the whole attack was caught on CCTV gave us a really disturbing insight into the type of offender we were dealing with. It was quite clear early on that this was a sexual predator who was out looking for a victim to attack and was prepared to use a high level of physical and sexual violence.
“Sexual attacks of this magnitude are relatively rare but when they do occur they will always attract a thorough and comprehensive response from the police. We hope this case will demonstrate how seriously West Yorkshire Police treats offences of this nature and the lengths we will go to to get justice for victims and to keep our communities safe.”