Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Violent and Dangerous Sex Attacker Jailed for 22 Years

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Violent and Dangerous Sex Attacker Jailed for 22 Years

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CAIN james.cain@trinitymirror.com @JIMMYMCAIN

A SEX attacker who subjected a grandmother to a terrifying daylight assault was branded "violent and dangerous" as he was locked away.

Cezar Florea was given an extended 22-year sentence for a drunken brutal assault in Middlesbrough in 2014.

The 29-year-old Romanian car washer was brought to justice after a three-year effort by Cleveland Police after he fled the UK.

It emerged that he already had a string of convictions before arriving on Teesside, including one for sexual activity with an underage girl. Florea assaulted his 52-year-old victim on Borough Road at the North Ormesby A66 flyover, above Lytton Street.

The court heard he went out to get drunk and find a prostitute before he preyed on the woman who was walking to work alone at 6am.

After failing to find a sex worker, the would-be rapist grabbed the woman and, without saying a word, put his arm over her throat.

He then punched and kicked her repeatedly in a "prolonged and sustained" attack, the judge said.

"It was, by any standard, cowardly."

Police said it was only when a man came to the woman's aid that Florea ran off towards North Ormesby, taking the victim's handbag with him.

In the days, weeks and months that followed, a large-scale police investigation was launched to trace Florea.

Officers used social media, including setting up a fake Facebook account, and an appeal on TV's Crimewatch.

It was more than a year after the attack, on June 25, 2015, that Cleveland Police announced that Florea had been arrested and detained for a separate offence in his native Romania.

Following his arrest, Cleveland Police officers pursued an extradition order and, in July this year, Florea finally appeared back on Teesside.

In mitigation, Robert Mochrie said Florea accepted that his actions were "abhorrent" and "something that he will have to live with".

Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, said his convictions before arrived in the UK showed Florea was a "violent, dangerous individual". …

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