Zdenko Turtak, the 22-year old man who was convicted earlier this month for sexually assaulting and beating an 18-year old woman in Beeston earlier this year has been sentenced to 14 years in prison, and six years on license.
On the 6th March earlier this year, the victim was at a bus stop on Beeston Road when Turtak dragged her into a garden. He then proceeded to bludgeon her 18 times with a rock and raped her. The assault, described as an “appalling attack” by West Yorkshire Police left her with serious head injuries.
Turtak pleaded guilty to rape and causing grievous bodily harm, but pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder. He had the attempted murder charge against him dropped by the CPS earlier this month.
Judge Peter Collier, QC, told Turtak during his sentencing that “In those short eight minutes you destroyed her young life […] all her youthful hopes and dreams ebbed away in those few minutes.” Judge Collier also added that Turtak was a “dangerous” offender and a threat to the public.
Turtak had also stalked other women on the night before the attack. Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen said, “We had other CCTV of him arriving at and leaving the scene and then later very clear images and witness accounts of him stalking other women in the city centre”. Detective Superintendent Wallen also said “I have been a police officer for 27 years and I can’t remember a more nasty, premeditated, stranger rape. I have never dealt with one as bad as this.”
Turtak worked at various car wash services and lived with family members in the Beeston and Hyde Park areas during his time in Leeds. Whilst he did have a criminal record in Slovakia, he did not have one in the UK.
The 22-year-old fled the UK to his native Slovakia, but was extradited back to the UK in July after officers from the West Yorkshire Police issued an arrest warrant. He was then tracked down and traced after a DNA match. As The Gryphon reported at the time, WYP visited over 2000 addresses and took over 600 DNA swabs from males aged 18 to 30 during the investigation. The case attracted national media attention with a reconstruction of the attack being aired on BBC’s Crimewatch.
(Image: The Independent)