The man who admitted raping and violently attacking an 18-year-old woman at a Beeston bus stop earlier this year has been unmasked.
A mugshot of Zdenko Turtak, 21, from Velka Ida, Kosice, Slovakia, has been released by West Yorkshire Police after it emerged that he will not face a charge of attempted murder for the incident in Beeston Road on March 6.
The Crown Prosecution service (CPS) has dropped the charge, which Turtak, who is in custody in Wakefield, earlier pleaded not guilty to.
At a hearing at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, in which Turtak did not appear, Judge Tom Bayliss QC confirmed that the CPS has accepted his pleas and that Turtak will be sentenced on October 19.
Judge Bayliss said the defendant will be sentenced after admitting GBH and rape but said he had “concerns” over a stalking allegation linked to CCTV footage of him following a number of women before the attack.
But Robin Frieze, defending, said: “The so-called stalking issue is a non issue.”
He continued: “The defence’s position is that given what he did shortly after following those other women, the proposition he was out looking for a woman to attack is self evident.”
The court heard that the sentencing judge will be shown the CCTV but that the defence “will not be calling any evidence to challenge it”.
Mr Frieze said the court can determine what significance the evidence has and how that might impact the nature of Turtak’s sentence.
Judge Bayliss said that the issue of stalking, relating to the collection of CCTV footage, “heavily impacts on the issue of dangerousness”.
The court also heard that Turtak claims he does not remember the attack.
“He can’t offer an alternative evidential account,” Mr Frieze said.
“He can’t give an account of what he did or didn’t do.”
Hundreds of officers were involved in an investigation into the Beeston attack, which included the collection of saliva samples from hundreds of men in the Beeston area.
There was also a reconstruction of the incident screened on BBC One’s Crimewatch programme, while DNA details were sent out to police forces in more than 100 countries.
The attack saw the victim grabbed at a bus stop in Beeston Road, before being dragged into a garden. She was battered with a rock and raped in a seven-minute ordeal. Police said at the time that she only escaped with her life because her scarf and a hood she was wearing reduced the impact of the blows.
A £5,000 reward was offered by Crimestoppers for information leading to his conviction.
Turtak was extradited back to the UK by officers from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.
He was flown from the Slovakian capital Bratislava, where he had been held following his arrest at his home on June 4, to Liverpool before being transported to Leeds.
Rape victim’s appeal on TV
The victim of the Beeston bus stop rapist spoke out in a bid to see her attacker caught earlier this year.
Chilling footage of the rapist following women in Leeds centre earlier on the night of the attack was aired to an audience of millions on BBC One’s Crimewatch.
During the programme, the victim, who suffered serious head injuries and a fractured pelvis in the attack, said: “I went to the bus stop. I was waiting for the bus to go home. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened. I’ve stopped sleeping because I can see what happened when I am trying to sleep.”