19-year-old student raped in Leeds park after chance bus-stop encounter in city centre

Her attacker, a dad of three, was ruled as a danger to lone females and jailed for more than 15 years


Leeds Crown Court has heard how a 19-year-old student was raped in a Leeds park after a chance meeting with her attacker at a bus stop in the city centre.

On Thursday, a judge deemed dad of three, Ermias Yawhanes, a danger to lone females and sentenced him to more than 15 years in prison, Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

The woman, who had been travelling back from a music festival on 28th May last year, was approached by Yawhanes while waiting for her bus in Leeds city centre.

He approached her, sitting down beside her and striking up a conversation, though she had never met him before. Yawhanes asked her to go for a drink but she refused. After he continued to pester her, and feeling intimidated, the woman eventually agreed to go for one drink.

Yawhanes and the woman walked to a nearby bar where he bought them both a drink, but then bought her two more. During this time, he tried to kiss her and touch her thigh. The woman had no recollection of leaving the bar and only regained consciousness in a taxi that Yawhanes had ordered a short time later.

The court heard how she was unable to speak but Yawhanes kept telling her “it’s fine”. Her next memory was waking up on the ground in a park – later identified as Banstead Park in Harehills.

The woman described how Yawhanes was on top of her, kissing her neck and repeating “after, baby girl” when she told him to stop. She had little strength fight him off.

After the assault, Yawhanes fled from the scene; when the victim tried to gather her belongings, she realised he had stolen her phone, possibly to stop her raising the alarm in the immediate aftermath, the prosecution suggested.

Once the incident had been reported, police were able to piece together CCTV footage and arrest 32-year-old Yawhanes just hours after the assault had taken place. He refused to answer any questions but the victim picked him out a police ID line up days later, and his DNA was also found during extensive medical examinations.

The young woman told the court that she felt “repulsed” following the savage attack.

In a heart-breaking and lengthy impact statement which was read to the court on her behalf by the prosecution, she explained the horrific toll that night had taken on her resulting in terrifying flashbacks and chronic insomnia.

Yawhanes, of Lascelles Road West, Harehills, appeared in court via a video link from HMP Leeds, where he has been held on remand since his arrest. He admitted to the charges of rape, assault by penetration and theft of her phone.

The judge told Yawhanes that there were clear “elements of abduction” in the way that he had bundled the woman into a taxi before taking her to Banstead Park, where the rape took place

The judge said: “She had the misfortune to meet you. You plainly decided you would do what you wanted to her regardless of her wishes. You took her to an isolated public park. You left her bloodied, confused, in pain and lost.”

He jailed Yawhanes for more than 15 years, indicating that the sentence would consist of 10 years and seven months in prison, with an extended five year license period.