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'Vicious' Slovak rapist gang jailed for total of 36 years
Three eastern European men, who violently gang-raped Bradford prostitutes including a victim of the Crossbow Cannibal, have been locked up for a total of 36 years.
A judge yesterday urged the Home Office to make sure the gang were not able to return to the UK when they are deported back to their home country.
Judge Peter Benson said: “The sooner the country is rid of these three men the better.”
Prosecutor Stephen Wood told Bradford Crown Court that Slovakians Jan Dzudzka, 40, Matus Tipan, 28, and Miroslav Karicka, 45, were part of a group whose aim was to pick up girls from the street for their sexual gratification, knowing that violence was likely to be used against the women.
They were extradited from Slovakia by West Yorkshire Police last year and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rape.
Mr Wood said the head of the conspiracy was Lubomir Kora, another Slovakian. He was sentenced to Imprisonment for the Public Protection in 2008. The defendants lived with him in Daisy Hill Road, Bradford.
Kora had already carried out rapes, with other men, on four prostitutes before the offences involving the three defendants, which took place within two days in March 2008.
The first victim, then aged 32, was approached in the City Road area by two men in a people carrier, one of whom was Kora. She agreed a price for sex and was driven to a secluded and dark location in Long Lane, Heaton. But after consensual sex with Kora, two more men appeared from a hiding place.
She was pinned down and raped by the three men, while Kora took photographs on his mobile phone. She was slapped and raped several more times before she managed to escape.
She told an ambulance crew: “People would think that I deserved it, but no-one deserved this.”
Two days later the gang attacked Suzanne Blamires – who in May 2010 was murdered by Stephen Griffiths – in an even more violent attack.
Miss Blamires, then 34, was standing on the corner of Gaynor Street when the silver people carrier turned up with two occupants. Again a price for sex was agreed and she was driven to a pre-arranged location in Arthington Street where three other men were waiting.
Miss Blamires’ sister was in court to hear how she had endured a 40-minute ordeal during which she was repeatedly raped by the gang, punched in the face, restrained and assaulted. Kora then drove to Long Lane where further sexual assaults took place.
She escaped and, semi-naked and distressed, flagged down a passing motorist who raised the alarm. An emotional Miss Blamires, who had suffered at least seven forceful blows to the face, told ambulance technicians she was “usually a good judge of character”.
Police spotted the people carrier outside a hostel in Idle Road, Bradford, and Kora was arrested. The three defendants then fled to Slovakia.
Nick Johnson, representing Dzudzka, said Kora was in control throughout and but for his influence the offences would not have occurred.
But Judge Benson, sentencing all three defendants to 12 years imprisonment, said it was a “joint enterprise of a most despicable nature. “ He said the attack on Miss Blamires was “particularly violent and vicious.”
Judge Benson added: “You all played a full part in these pre-planned and savage sexual assaults on these two unfortunate women.”
The judge was told that the UK Border Agency was expected to arrange for the men to be returned to their home nation and it had the facility to block their re-entry.
The judge added: “It is my express wish that the Home Office takes whatever steps are necessary to prevent your return to this country once you leave.”
Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley, who led the investigation, said after the case: “These men lured their victims in to situations they could not escape using physical violence and intimidation to undertake what were a series of extremely serious sexual offences.
“Legislation allowing us to conduct inquiries across the world and pursue fugitives who flee abroad to avoid prosecution was used to ensure that justice was done.
“Those who involve themselves in such crimes in West Yorkshire and then flee abroad can be confident of one thing only, that they will be pursued and brought back to the United Kingdom to face justice."