A sexual predator who subjected a woman to a terrifying ordeal involving a noose has been handed a 13-year prison sentence. Ben Creek, 31, was tracked down by officers from the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team following the disturbing incident in Holbeck last year.
The victim, a woman in her twenties, was attacked while walking her child to school on May 5. As she passed under the viaduct between Domestic Road and Cross Ingram Road around 9:15 am, Creek approached her and placed a noose around her neck, dragging her to a nearby grassed area. He then pinned her to the ground in an attempt to sexually assault her. However, the brave victim fought back, and her struggle caught the attention of a passer-by, prompting Creek to flee the scene.
During the assault, Creek had disguised himself with a black beanie hat, a black face covering, and a black coat with a fur-trimmed hood. Investigators from the West Yorkshire Police meticulously traced his escape route, which took him along various roads, including the A643, Gelderd Road, and Whitehall Road. Despite Creek’s efforts to conceal his identity, CCTV footage captured his presence near Dixon Lane, providing detectives with crucial evidence.
After releasing images of the suspect on West Yorkshire Police social media on May 15, a substantial public response quickly led to Creek’s identification. The 30-year-old, residing on Britannia Road in Morley, was arrested on the same day. In addition to the May 5 incident, he was charged with a separate offence that occurred on May 9, involving the exposure of himself to a schoolgirl in Asquith Avenue, Morley.
Initially charged with sexual assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, committing an offence with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence, and exposure, Creek’s charges for the May 5 incident were later revised in court. The updated charges included Section 21 Offences Against the Person Act 1861, specifically attempting to choke, suffocate, or strangle another person with the intent to commit an indictable offence, alongside the sexual assault charge. Creek also admitted to further counts of indecent exposure during the court proceedings.
Today, at Leeds Crown Court, Creek pleaded guilty to all the offences and was handed a 13-year extended sentence, ensuring that he will remain behind bars for a significant period.
The successful outcome of this case serves as a testament to the dedicated work of the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team. Their tireless efforts, combined with the cooperation of the public, have brought justice to the victims and ensured the removal of a dangerous sexual predator from society.