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Prolific offender jailed for sexual assault

News   •   Sep 11, 2019 13:02 BST

[JAILED: Mentesnot Cheru]

A man has today been jailed for two years and eight months for committing terrifying sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks against two women in Haringey.

Mentesnot Cheru, 29, (03.06.90) of Winchelsea Road, Tottenham, was convicted at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on Thursday, 27 June after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault and possession of cannabis.

He was sentenced to two years and eight months custodial sentence and a three year extended licence was imposed, giving a total sentence of five years and eight months. He must serve two thirds of his sentence and there was a finding of dangerousness meaning that he cannot be released until the parole board are satisfied he is safe to do so.

At Wood Green Crown Court on Wednesday, 11 September, Cheru was handed the sentence and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

Both of the attacks took place on Thursday, 4 April. At approximately 10:20hrs, a 20-year-old woman was walking along Philip Lane, N15 before turning left into Clyde Road behind Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness. She then noticed a man running behind her.

Although she thought this was unusual she believed he was running for cover as it was raining. Moments later he approached her from behind and sexually assaulted before swearing at her.

Cheru then punched her around five times, striking her upper body and face. The victim managed to run away but dropped her umbrella as Cheru ran after her.

The incident was witnessed by a passing motorist who intervened before the suspect could harm the victim again. He chased Cheru, filming him using his mobile phone as he fled before the suspect escaped along Clyde Road.

As a result of this incident the victim was extremely traumatised and sustained injuries that required hospital treatment.

The other attack occurred only minutes earlier between 10:15-10:20hrs. A 27-year-old woman was walking along the same road, Philip Lane, when the suspect approached her from behind and slapped her hard to her lower body. She immediately turned around and he punched her on the left side of her face and said: ‘I know you’ despite being a stranger. He then ran off towards Tottenham High Road.

The investigation team then launched a media campaign alongside other enquiries in a bid to locate the man responsible. Mobile phone footage from a member of the public was released which showed the attacker fleeing the scene of one of the attacks.

Coincidentally, on Friday, 3 May the member of the public that had originally filmed the attacker was walking along Winchelsea Road, Tottenham when he noticed the same man enter an address. He dialled 999 and officers attended immediately.

Cheru was found inside and was arrested. A search of his flat revealed the exact clothing and sports racket that he was seen with in the mobile phone footage.

The two victims identified him in an identification process.

During interview, Cheru lied and claimed that he was elsewhere at the time of the attacks.

He was charged the following day and was remanded in custody. After being faced with the overwhelming evidence and not being able to provide an alibi, he pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial.

During the sentencing the court heard about his very concerning violent offending history. On 19 October 2009 he was sentenced to three months in a young offender’s institution for assaulting two police officers. Shortly after his release he attacked a police officer again in Croydon, stabbing him in the back with a knife. On 6 April 2010 he was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court to seven years in a young offender’s institute. Whilst in prison for that offence he launched an unproved attack on a prison officer. On 3 May 2011 he was ordered to serve twelve weeks of a consecutive sentence.

Cheru was also convicted of indecent exposure for an offence committed in Salford, Greater Manchester on 10 January 2016. He exposed himself to a female toilet attendant and was convicted on 12 January 2016 at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court. He was sentenced to eighteen weeks imprisonment and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

His Honour Judge G Perrins, said: “You have a pattern of sexual behaviour which is getting worse. You lack insight and have deeply held misogynistic views. You present a very high risk of sexual re-offending.

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from North Area CID, led the investigation. He said: “It was clear from the outset that we were seeking a vicious and sinister individual, this was made clear by his offending history.

“Cheru has a deep-seated hatred towards women, propensity to commit violence and I am absolutely convinced that he would have struck again. The clear finding of dangerousness in this case was inevitable. He poses a significant risk to the public.”

“He targeted lone women thinking that he could get away with his despicable actions.

“I would like to thank the gentleman that came to the aid of the woman being attacked. Rather than just walking by, he stepped in, stopping her from being injured further. He also had the foresight to film Cheru which was crucial as we found all the clothes he was wearing at the time of the attack in his flat. I will be requesting that the gentlemen is formally recognized for his bravery and public spirit.

“I’d also like to reach out to anyone who believes they may have been attacked by Cheru, please come forward to my team in confidence and we will provide you with specialist support.”