Savage and brutal rapist jailed for life for attack on university student in Leeds city centre

A savage and brutal rapist has been jailed for life after he raped and violently attacked a 19-year-old woman as she walked home from a night out in Leeds city centre.

Samuel Fortes has been jailed for life for the brutal rape and attack on a woman in Leeds.

Samuel Fortes, 27, stalked his victim for a "considerable amount of time" as she made her way through Leeds city centre after a night out with friends.

The woman, now 20, was walking along Park Square West, when she first encountered Fortes, who asked for her number. She politely declined and continued her walk home in the early hours of June 23, last year.

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The woman, who was on FaceTime to her boyfriend, continued to walk along St Paul's Street. She then came to cross over the footbridge when she was grabbed from behind by Fortes, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting David Gordon said: "The victim struggled and told Fortes to get off her."He was smirking and she asked him why. His reply was to punch her in the face six times."

The horrific attack - some of which was caught by the victim's boyfriend on FaceTime - lasted 15 minutes with Fortes physically assaulting and raping his victim.

She was left with serious facial injuries including a fracture to her face, a damaged tooth and extensive swelling to her face and body.

The woman was later found nearly-naked, face down by a member of the public.A police officer attending the scene said he was immediately shocked by her condition.The officer said: "She was in significant pain and I was also shocked by the injuries to her face. They were some of the worst in my 11 years of service."The victim told police officers she thought she was going to die during the attack.

Fortes, who fled the scene after the attack and hid for a couple of hours before catching the train back to his home in Sheffield, was caught after his DNA was found at the scene. Clumps of his hair were also found on the victim, along with the footprint of his trainer.

Detectives also found the victim's blood on Fortes' trainers.

The victim bravely spoke of how the attack has affected her.

She said: "I have been at the lowest point mentally in my life. For days I could not leave my bed, I did not see the point. I questioned why this had happened to me."I am sickened by the thought another human could do that to another."

"I could picture Fortes face glaring back at mine when I asked him to to stop.

" I had a feeling of death coming over he during the attack."

The court heard Fortes has previous convictions relating to domestic violence against his ex partner in 2017. He was also subjected to a suspended sentence at the time of the rape.

In mitigation, Richard Reed said: "He has reiterated from the outset how very sorry for these offences which he has no recollection of.

"He is thoroughly ashamed he could have committed them. That shame has been discussed with all the psychiatrists."

Mr Reed explained how Fortes came to the UK from Portugal in 2010 and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Fortes, of Ironside Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to rape and wounding with intent.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum of eight years.

He described the victim's statement as "the most remarkable I have ever encountered"The Judge said:" I salute her extraordinary courage."