Romanian car washer, 29, with a string of convictions in his native country is jailed for 16 years for trying to rape a middle-aged woman in an ‘abhorrent’ attack as she walked to work
Cezar Florea fled back to Romania after awful attack in Middlesbrough in 2014
Victim suffered broken arm and broken nose during prolonged violent assault
Florea was extradited to UK after serving a jail sentence for robbery in Romania
By Chris Brooke for the Daily Mail
2 September 2017
A serial criminal from Romania who was free to come and go from Britain brutally assaulted a grandmother in the street before trying to rape her.
Cezar Florea, 29, targeted his victim as she walked to work at 6am after he had failed in a drunken search for a prostitute.
She suffered a broken nose and broken arm when she was beaten to the ground, kicked in the face and subjected to a prolonged rape attempt that failed only because a passer-by intervened.
In a final insult, Florea snatched her handbag as he fled the scene, then left the country.
Last night, the victim’s family demanded to know why his movements were not monitored by the authorities.
Florea benefited from EU freedom of movement rules, but in Romania he was a convicted sex attacker with robbery convictions stretching back to his teenage years, when he was first able to travel to the UK and work in Middlesbrough. Over the years he has travelled back and forth between his home country and Britain.
After the attack Florea again returned to Romania, where he was on the run for three years during which he committed another robbery.
His victim was too upset to go to Teesside Crown Court yesterday to see him sentenced to 16 years in prison but her daughter said: ‘How was a man with such a long history of crime allowed to come to Britain without being monitored and do the things he did to my mum?
‘She was just a lady walking to work, as she did every day, when she came across this person who, to us, should never have been allowed into the country. There has to be closer monitoring of people with the sort of history he had to stop them from walking into whatever country they choose and then disappearing again.’
She added: ‘My mum is a changed person after what he did to her – she has never fully recovered.’
Florea, who lived in Middlesbrough at the time, admitted attempted rape, assault and robbery. On top of the jail term, he was given an extended period on licence lasting a further six years.
Passing sentence, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton noted that Florea had visited the UK ‘on and off’ for a number of years.
He said the victim had been a ‘fun-loving, normal, everyday middle-aged woman’ before the attack on 7 June, 2014.
He told Florea: ‘As a result of what you did, her life has been changed, not so much by the physical injuries – though they are bad enough – but the psychological effect of your attack on her has been catastrophic. You subjected her to a determined, violent and horrific attack.’ The court was told that Florea ran up behind his victim and seized her around the throat with his arm before punching her repeatedly in the face. While she lay helpless on the ground, he kicked her repeatedly in the head and face, before attempting to rape her.
In a victim impact statement, she said: ‘I have suffered life-changing injuries and scars. I was a fun-loving person with a good sense of humour, I would laugh at anything.
‘I valued going to work, I would walk places, socialise regularly and generally enjoy life.’
She added: ‘I was feeling happy and confident on my way to work when I just remember being grabbed from behind. I was screaming and a hand was placed over my mouth. I remember feeling terrified at what this man was going to do.
‘I thought he wanted my handbag but then I realised he was trying to rape me. I relived the trauma every day on my way to work. It was eight months after he attacked me before I went to work by myself.
‘Afterwards, after seeing any men of the same origin as the man who tried to rape me, I would cross the road out of fear of the same thing happening again. I had to have my daughter stay with me after what he did to me.’
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