‘Dangerous’ sexual predator jailed after witness tracked him down

A “dangerous” sexual predator has been jailed after a witness tracked him down a month after he targeted two lone women in the street.

Mentesnot Cheru, 29, carried out the violent sex attacks on random victims, who were in their 20s, minutes apart on the morning of April 4 in Tottenham, north London.

Joshua Donka, 20, who was passing in his car, filmed Cheru, who was holding a tennis racquet as he fled following the first assault.

The footage shows the attacker – wearing a red baseball cap, jeans and white trainers, and carrying a black leather rucksack – being knocked to the ground before escaping.

A tennis racquet cover found in the search at the Cheru's home
A tennis racquet cover found in the search at the Cheru’s home (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A month later, on May 3, Mr Donka spotted Cheru before following him to his home and calling police.

Officers arrested Cheru, of Winchelsea Road, Tottenham, and found the clothes he was wearing on the day he carried out the attacks.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and a charge of possessing cannabis at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing him to two years and eight months imprisonment, with an extra three years on extended licence, Judge Gregory Perrins told him: “You are plainly and simply a dangerous man.”

Cheru must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence and will only be released when the Parole Board says it is safe to do so.

A pair of jeans found during the search
A pair of jeans found during the search (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The judge said Cheru had demonstrated “clear misogynistic attitudes towards women”.

“They both involved random attacks on lone women,” he said. “You deliberately targeted them and saw them as vulnerable women walking alone in the street.”

Wood Green Crown Court heard that his first victim, 20, was on her way to work at around 10.20am when she was attacked by Cheru, who touched her bottom and privates.

He then called her a “f****** bitch” and punched her five times in the face and shoulder, leaving the woman “shocked and traumatised”, with a swollen eye requiring hospital treatment, the court heard.

She said in a victim impact statement: “I was attacked for no reason. When the attack first happened, I was totally shocked. I couldn’t believe someone had attacked me for no reason.”

Minutes later another woman, 27, was attacked by Cheru in a nearby street.

“I was suddenly slapped hard on my bottom from behind and it was really hard. I immediately turned around to see who had done that to me. He then punched me to the face once,” she told police.

“I was in shock because I was totally not expecting this to happen.”

A rucksack found at the property
A rucksack found at the property (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The court heard Mr Donka chased Cheru after the first attack but he escaped.

“On May 3 he (Mr Donka) did see the male and was quite sure he was the same male,” said prosecutor Sherry Nabijou.

“He then followed him and managed to get an address.”

Cheru has a string of previous convictions, including a seven-year jail sentence in 2010 for stabbing a police officer in the back in Croydon.

While serving his sentence, he attacked a prison guard, before being convicted for exposing himself to a toilet cleaner two days after his release in 2016.

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “He’s an acutely dangerous individual who poses a significant risk of causing harm to the public, particularly women.

“It was inevitable that a finding of dangerousness would be reached in this case because of his previous offending history and his lack of empathy and remorse for the victims.

“The only reason he pleaded guilty is due to the overwhelming evidence from the mobile phone footage which captured him immediately after the first offence.

“No doubt he would have committed further offences if he hadn’t been caught and I pay tribute to the Good Samaritan in coming forward to allow us to catch this individual.”

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