Predator who used noose in 'disturbing' sex attack on woman in Leeds jailed

The 'huge response' to a social media appeal by police led to Ben Creek being identified and arrested very quickly. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A predator who put a noose around a woman’s neck and dragged her away before sexually assaulting her in a "sinister and disturbing" attack has been jailed.

Ben Creek, 31, attacked the woman, who is in her twenties, while she was on her way back from walking her child to school.

The attack happened in the Holbeck area of Leeds, just after 9.15am on 5 May last year.

He dragged her to a nearby grassy area, choking her with the noose, and pinned her to the ground, but ran off when the victim fought back and he was disturbed by a passer-by.

Creek, of Britannia Road in Morley, was wearing a black beanie hat, black face covering and a black coat with a fur-trimmed hood.

A social media appeal was put out after detectives tracked his escape route, picking up CCTV images of him along the way. He was identified and arrested on the same day.

The attack happened on a footpath off Cross Ingram Road in Holbeck. Credit: Google

Creek was charged for the 5 May attack and a second incident, on 9 May, when he exposed himself to a schoolgirl in Morley.

He was initially charged with sexual assault, causing actual bodily harm and committing an offence with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence, as well as exposure.

The charges were later updated to attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle someone to commit an offence and sexual assault. He also admitted further counts of indecent exposure in court. 

Creek pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court in November last year. He was given an extended 13-year prison sentence on Friday. 

Investigating officer Det Insp Suzanne Hall, West Yorkshire Police, described the attack as "very sinister and disturbing", saying the victim had been left "traumatised".

“We had a huge response from the public to our appeal on social media, and we are really grateful to everyone who contacted us naming him," she said.

“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.”

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