Dangerous rapist held mum prisoner in Leeds '˜flat of horror'

A MUM described how she felt she was in a horror movie after a dangerous rapist kept her prisoner in his flat and subjected her to abuse for almost 24 hours.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th March 2017, 2:58 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:55 am
The flat in which the woman was held
The flat in which the woman was held

Michael O’Leary is facing a life sentence after a court heard how the woman begged for her life during the ordeal at a Leeds council flat.

The sex offender preyed on her after she left a bar in the city centre alone and heavily drunk.

O’Leary, 47, had spent hours trawling the streets in the city in search of a vulnerable victim.

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The flat in which the woman was held

The woman, 36, had been on a night out with her boyfriend but separated from him after they had an argument.

Leeds Crown Court heard the woman went alone to the Stone Roses Bar, on Lower Briggate, and drank heavily until the early hours of the morning.

The last thing she remembered was a barman asking if she wanted a taxi.

She awoke the next morning, September 17 last year, to find herself in bed with O’Leary at his dingy flat on Winrose Drive, Belle Isle.

The flat in which the woman was held

O’Leary, a convicted rapist, had already had sexual contact with the woman as she slept.

The victim was then locked in the property until the early hours of the morning.

O’Leary subjected her to violence and tried to rape her.

She was unable to escape as grilles covered all the windows and O’Leary kept her locked in.

At one stage O’Leary turned out all of the lights and struck the woman over the head.

He then forced her onto his bed as she begged him to stop.

Rupert Doswell, prosecuting, said: “She screamed and told him not to do it. She said ‘you are a good person really, don’t do it’”

The prosecutor said: “Maybe it was something that she said that resonated with him, because as quickly as it started, it stopped and she ran off to the bathroom.”

O’Leary managed to get into the bathroom holding a hunting knife.

The victim feared she was about to be killed when O’Leary began placing plastic bags on the floor of the property.

Mr Dodswell said: “She was convinced that the defendant was putting the bags on the floor so if he stabbed her he could clear up the blood.”

The prosecutor added: “She believed she was going to die and pleaded with him not to kill her. She said she had a son and was the only person he had.”

The victim rushed to a kitchen and tried to find a knife but was unable to open drawers.

O’Leary eventually allowed the woman out of the property in the early hours of the following morning when her screams alerted neighbours.

She managed to stop a taxi in the street and was driven to Elland Road police station.

The woman took officers to O’Leary’s flat where he was arrested.

DNA evidence was later recovered which showed he had sexual contact with the woman.

O’Leary was found guilty of attempted rape, assault by penetration and false imprisonment.

O’Leary was given a six-year prison sentence back in 1998 for raping a woman in similar circumstances.

He will be sentence in six weeks after recorder Richard Woolfall adjourned the case to allow for reports.

He warned O’Leary that he would consider imposing a life sentence

Recorder Woolfall told O’Leary: “In my view you are a very dangerous individual and I am very concerned about your risk to woman, in particular to women in drink.”


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.

The 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.”