This is the chilling moment a dangerous sexual predator who called himself 'The Beast' fled the scene after trying to rape a young mum on the school run.
Masked Benjamin Creek, 31, was prowling the streets while sexually aroused and looking for someone to rape - just an hour after committing another sexual offence, a court heard. He pounced on the the woman - who cannot be identified - after she dropped off her child at school in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
He used a dressing gown cord as a makeshift noose which he wrapped around her neck before dragging her into a secluded spot at around 9:15am on 5 May last year. He pinned her down and attempted to sexually assault her, leaving her fearing for her life, Leeds Crown Court heard.
It was only when the woman screamed and alerted a passing cyclist that Creek relented and fled. Footage released by cops after her was jailed shows the sex fiend run away from the area.
Creek was identified by his own boss
He's seen in the distance, wearing a black beanie hat, black face covering and a black coat with a fur-trimmed hood. He appeared to have taken a deliberately complicated route, police said, and further extensive work had to be carried out to track his movements.
But police probing the attack had a breakthrough when they picked up clear images of his face. After a public appeal, Creek was identified by his own boss and arrested.
'You are a very dangerous man'
Creek, who has learning difficulties, has a history of outraging public decency and exposure with multiple convictions for masturbating in public, the court heard. And just days after the attack, he had exposed himself to a young schoolgirl on her way to school, police said.
He was jailed for 12 years at Leeds Crown Court on Friday (19 May). Judge Christopher Batty said: “You were prowling the streets, sexually aroused and looking for someone to sexually assault or rape.
"It was clear to her what you were intending to do and she was utterly helpless and beyond terrified. It’s clear that had that person not intervened, you would not have stopped. You have an addiction to sex, and in combination with your difficulties and an inability to control your impulses tells me you are a very dangerous man.”
Victim 'thought she was going to die'
Prosecutor Catherine Silverton said the woman was walking with earphones in when Creek put the noose around her neck and pulled it tight, pulling her off her feet. The woman thought she was going to die as he pulled the cord tighter.
She pleaded with him and shouted for help, the court heard. The passing cyclist heard the muffled screams before Creek let go.
Police scoured CCTV footage for a sighting of Creek, who was captured running from the scene. He gave bizarre answers to police questions during interview, including referring to himself as “The Beast” and was the big brother of Benjamin Creek, the court heard.
He was eventually charged with attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle any other person in order to commit any indictable offence and sexual assault. He was also charged with indecent exposure from 9 May, when he exposed himself at a 13-year-old schoolgirl.
There were four other incidents of masturbating including on a public bus and a bus stop, the court heard. One of those incidents happened just an hour before attacking the woman. He admitted all offences.
'This was a very sinister and disturbing incident'
Mitigating, Catherine Rimmer said Creek has a “complex variety of mental health disorders” including autism, learning difficulties and a personality disorder. She said he has very little understanding of the crimes he has committed.
Creek pleaded guilty and was given a 13 year sentence, made up of seven years in prison and a five-year extended licence period. Speaking after sentencing Detective Inspector Suzanne Hall, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “This was a very sinister and disturbing incident where a woman was brazenly attacked near to a busy road as she walked back from taking her child to school during the morning rush hour.
“It was a terrifying experience for her, and we know it has left her understandably traumatised. These offences show Creek to be a dangerous sexual predator and we hope it will give some degree of comfort to his victims and to the wider community to know that he is now behind bars.
“Taking dangerous offenders like Creek off the streets will always remain a key part of our work to keep women and girls safe.”