Man makes first court appearance charged with 'horrific' sex attack in Leeds city centre

Grace Street
Grace Street

A MAN has appeared in court over a serious sex attack in Leeds city centre in which a woman was left with serious facial injuries.

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Samuel Fortes appeared before Leeds Magistrates Court today charged with rape and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The 26-year-old Portuguese national appeared in the dock of the court accompanied by a security officer.

Fortes, of Ironside Road, Gleadless, Sheffield, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, address and nationality.

No details of the alleged offences were read out in court and no pleas to the charges were entered.

District Judge Phillip Houlden told Fortes that the charges were so serious they could only be dealt with by a Crown court judge.

The case was committed to Leeds Crown Court, where Fortes will next appear on July 27.

Fortes's solicitor, Stewart Page, said no application would be made for bail.

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Fortes, who appeared in the dock wearing a grey sweater and bottoms, was returned to custody.

West Yorkshire Police launched a major investigation following the incident at around 3am on Saturday, June 23.

It was described as an “horrific ordeal”, with the victim also left with facial injuries.

It happened near to the footbridge by Grace Street, close to the inner ring road.

The Homicide and Major Enquiry Team is leading an investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Jaz Khan said: “This was a horrific attack and although there has been an arrest, I am still appealing directly to anyone who saw anything suspicious at that time or that seemed out of place to get in contact with Operation Poseminster at Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.

“We have a team of specialist officers who are with the victim and her family, providing them support following this horrific ordeal.

“Incidents like this can cause concern amongst the community and we would like to reassure the public that we are increasing neighbourhood patrols in the area.

“Anyone with any information can also contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”