How depraved rapist searched Leeds for drunk women and held mum hostage at horror flat with hunting knife

editorial image

Depraved Michael ‘O’Leary had spent five hours ‘loitering’ outside Leeds city centre bars in search of a victim drunk enough to take back to his home.

The woman was able to describe her captor’s sinister and bizarre behaviour from the moment she awoke in his bed.

In a recorded interview with police officers she said: “I thought ‘this is it, I’m going to die in this flat’ “I got myself in a position where someone like that could prey on me. That is exactly what had happened.

“It was like one of those horror stories where someone gets murdered. I thought I was going to get murdered.”

The woman recalled waking up and realising she was not in her own bed. O’Leary was beside her and told her he had rescued her when she came out of the bar drunk and incapable of looking after herself.

Leeds Crown Court heard the woman did not initially feel threatened and felt some obligation towards O’Leary. At one stage he left the flat with her bank card but locked her inside the property.

When he left she noticed that grilles were over the windows and discovered that her mobile phone was missing from her bag.

O’Leary returned and told her that she had no money in her bank account. He said her mobile phone was broken so she would not be able to call a taxi. The pervert then repeatedly told her he wanted to have sex with her, claiming that he was her boyfriend and that he loved her.

As time passed she became more assertive and demanded to be allowed to go home. She went to the toilet but when she returned the house was in darkness.

The woman felt a blow to the back of the head and was forced onto the bed. After begging O’Leary to stop she managed to run to the bathroom .

The woman recalled how she feared for her life when she heard plastic bags rustling outside.

She said: “Maybe I have watched too many films but I thought he was laying out plastic bags in the hallway so there would be no evidence.”

The woman described how she considered covering the floor with shampoo in the hope that O’Leary would slip if he came to attack her with the knife. She changed her mind and decided to try to get a knife to fight back.

She said: “I thought ‘I am not dying here, you are not going to kill me. I will kill you first, I’m going to defend myself.’

“I felt like I physically had to fight for my life.” O’Leary struggled with the woman when she ran to the kitchen to try to find a knife. He eventually allowed her out of the house when her screams attracted the attention of neighbours. A neighbour who gave evidence at the trial said: “It was a scream I will never forget.”

Peter Benefer and his  daughter Meesha pictured in 2014 with the peace sign she found on a honeycomb in one of Mr Benefer's beehives

Beekeeper buzzing after winning Come Dine With Me contest