A ‘prowling sexual predator’ who raped a young woman and sexually assaulted another on the same night has been locked up for more than 12 years. One of Amanuel Tsegay’s victims-who was 18 when he raped her-told how he had shattered her life de ella, adding: “This is always there.”
“Before the attack I was quite independent,” she said in an emotional victim impact statement read out in court. “What he did has changed all that. I don’t feel happy and carefree like I was.
“Before that night I was happy. I liked to meet new people and make new friends. I didn’t have any worries and now that has all changed.” The woman – who can’t be identified for legal reasons – said she has nightmares and has been forced to give up her job because of anxiety.
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She said she has changed how she dresses and added: “I feel apprehensive about people coming near me and feel that I have used up all of my luck and am apprehensive and anxious when I go out of the house.”
Tsegay, 37, from Lords Avenue in Weste, Salford, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault. He was jailed by a judge in Preston on Wednesday for 12 years and seven months. Police said he was also given a six-year extended license period after the judge deemed him to be a ‘dangerous offender’. That means he will be closely monitored by the authorities after he is released from prison.
The woman was attacked by Tsegay at around 4.20am on September 22, 2019, after she became separated from friends after a night out in Preston. Police said she was walking along Lancaster Road when she was approached by him at its junction with Harris Street.
After a brief interaction they walked together onto Lord Street, where Tsegay raped her on a grassed area. In a statement, Lancashire Police said: “An investigation was launched and detectives found Tsegay had traveled into Preston by train from Manchester several hours before the attack. He was then seen walking around Preston city centre.
“He was arrested on October 8, 2019 and subsequently charged with rape. Detectives viewed several hours of CCTV and, following a media appeal, were also able to trace another victim, aged 19 at the time of the offence, who Tsegay had grabbed and forced himself upon on the same night, when she offered him some food.”
He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life. Speaking after the sentencing hearing Detective Inspector Fiona Jackson, from Lancashire Police, called Tsegay a ‘sexual predator’ and said it was clear he had been ‘prowling around the center of Preston looking for vulnerable women’.
She said: “I am satisfied with the result and would like to commend both victims for their bravery. It has taken over two years to reach a conclusion, mainly because of the pandemic, but they have continued to provide support for the process throughout.
“Amanuel Tsegay is a sexual predator and it is clear from CCTV footage that he was prowling around the center of Preston looking for vulnerable women. He raped one young woman, forced another woman into a kiss and made lewd comments about performing a sex act towards two others.
“I would like to thank my colleagues who worked on this investigation, painfully combing through hours of CCTV to find Tsegay. This assisted with media appeals, which led to him being caught. I would also like to thank the public who supported and responded to these appeals as they provided vital information.
“Anybody who is the victim of a sexual offense should report it to us safe in the knowledge that they will be treated sensitively and professionally at all times. You can call 101 or ring 999 in an emergency.”
Claire Ludlam, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, added: “Amanuel Tsegay is a dangerous predator who clearly poses a risk to women. Thanks to the bravery of the two women he attacked, he will now be in prison for a considerable period of time.” time.
“I hope both women can now begin to move forward with their lives and find some comfort in knowing that Tsegay has been brought to justice for his deplorable actions.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.