Student raped in Leeds park by predator after chance city centre bus-stop meeting

Yawhanes plied the woman with drink then dragged her into a park where he raped her. Picture: WYP / Google MapsYawhanes plied the woman with drink then dragged her into a park where he raped her. Picture: WYP / Google Maps
Yawhanes plied the woman with drink then dragged her into a park where he raped her. Picture: WYP / Google Maps
A brutal rapist who targeted a student waiting at a city-centre bus stop plied her with drink before dragging her into a park

Dad-of-three Ermias Yawhanes was today deemed a danger to lone females by a judge at Leeds Crown Court, who jailed him for more than 15 years.

Judge Andrew Stubbs KC told him there were "elements of abduction" after he bundled the incapacitated women into a taxi before getting dropped off at Banstead Park in Harehills where he attacked her. Her harrowing screams of protest were even picked up by CCTV nearby.

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Judge Stubbs told Yawhanes: "She had the misfortune to meet you. You plainly decided you would do what you wanted to her regardless of her wishes. You took her to an isolated public park. You left her bloodied, confused, in pain and lost."

The woman, who was only 19, told the court that she felt "repulsed" following the savage attack. Prosecutor Michael Collins said she had been at a music festival on May 28 last year and was returning home, waiting for her bus in the city centre.

Yawhanes approached her and sat down beside her, striking up a conversation. She had never met him before. He asked her to go for a drink but she refused. He continued to pester her and feeling intimidated, she eventually agreed to go for one drink.

They walked to a nearby bar where he bought them both a drink, but he then bought her two more. He also tried to kiss her and touch her thigh. She had no recollection of leaving the bar and only regained consciousness in a taxi with Yawhanes a short time later.

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She was unable to speak but Yawhanes kept telling her "it's fine". Her next memory was waking up on the ground in a park - which was later identified as Banstead Park.

Yawhanes was on top of her, kissing her neck and kept saying "after, baby girl" when she told him to stop, but had little strength to fight him off.

After the assault he fled the scene and the victim tried to gather her belongings, but Yawhanes had stolen her phone, possibly to stop her raising the alarm in the immediate aftermath, Mr Collins said.

Having reported the incident, the police were able to piece CCTV footage together and arrested Yawhanes just hours later, but he refused to answer questions. The victim picked him out of a police ID line-up days later, while his DNA was also found on her during extensive medical examinations.

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A heart-breaking and lengthy impact statement was read to the court on her behalf by Mr Collins, in which the young woman outlined the horrific toll that night had taken on her resulting in terrifying flashbacks and chronic insomnia.

Yawhanes, of Lascelles Road West, Harehills, appeared in court via video link from HMP Leeds, where he has been held on remand since his arrest. He admitted charges of rape, assault by penetration and theft of her phone.

Mitigating, David Morton said Yawhanes had expressed his "sincerest apologies" to the victim and the court. He said he was making the best of his time behind bars, and has registered for education courses.

Judge Stubbs indicated that the 15-year-and-seven-month sentence is made up of 10 years-and-seven-months' jail, with an extended five-year licence period.

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