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Man who put a noose around neck of mum on the school run and sexually assaulted her is jailed

Watch: Sex offender who tied a noose around his victims neck jailed for 13 years

A man who put a noose around a woman's neck before sexually assaulting her has been jailed for 13 years.

Ben Creek, 31, launched the "sinister and disturbing" attack as his victim returned home after taking her child to school in Holbeck, Leeds, last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Creek pinned his victim to the ground and assaulted her before a passer-by interrupted and he fled through rush-hour traffic.

The jury was told that Creek, of Britannia Road, Morley, grabbed the woman, aged in her 20s, from behind as she walked under a viaduct at 9.15am on 5 May last year.

Dressed in black with a beanie hat and with his face covered, Creek choked the struggling victim with the noose as he dragged her to a grassy area.

After the passer-by intervened, he fled through queuing traffic on busy city centre roads.

Creek was picked up on CCTV but only as a figure in the distance. He appeared to have taken a deliberately complicated route, and detectives had to investigate further to track his movements.

Senior investigating officer, detective inspector Suzanne Hall 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.

Creek's image was shared by police and he was arrested the same day. (West Yorkshire Police)
Creek's image was shared by police and he was arrested the same day. (West Yorkshire Police)

“It was a terrifying experience for her, and we know it has left her understandably traumatised."

The following week, detectives identified a CCTV camera that had captured good quality images of Creek. The pictures were posted to West Yorkshire Police social media and later that day Creek was identified.

He was arrested and subsequently charged in relation to the attack, as well as a further incident on 9 May where he had exposed himself to a schoolgirl in Asquith Avenue, Morley.

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

Creek, who later exposed himself to a schoolgirl, was jailed for a total of 13 years at Leeds Crown Court. (Getty)
Creek, who later exposed himself to a schoolgirl, was jailed for a total of 13 years at Leeds Crown Court. (Getty)

The charges for the 5 May incident were later updated to Section 21 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 - attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle any other person in order to commit any indictable offence, alongside the sexual assault charge.

He also admitted further counts of indecent exposure in court.

Creek admitted the offences and was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Friday to 13 years extended sentence.

Hall added: “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.

“Women and girls should be safe to live their lives free from the fear of violence and harassment.

“Taking dangerous offenders like Creek off the streets will always remain a key part of our work to keep women and girls safe.”