Romanian fugitive jailed over Middlesbrough attempted rape

Cezar Florea Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Cezar Florea fled to Romania after the attempted rape in June 2014

A man who fled to Romania after attempting to rape a woman in a brutal attack has been jailed for 16 years.

Cezar Florea left his 51-year-old victim with a broken shoulder and broken nose in the attack in North Ormesby in Middlesbrough in June 2014.

He was arrested in his native Romania a year later and extradited to the UK after serving a sentence for robbery.

Florea, 29, admitted attempted rape and assault and was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court earlier.

He was established as the main suspect following CCTV and witness appeals. Cleveland Police then set up a Facebook account to contact his associates in both the UK and Romania.

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Police had to wait two years for his extradition as he served a prison sentence in Romania

Appeals were also made via the Romanian media as a European Arrest Warrant was compiled.

His arrest was confirmed in July 2015 but his extradition was delayed for two years while he served a sentence for robbery in Romania.

Det Insp Matt Hollingsworth said Florea's attack was the type which "gives detectives sleepless nights".

He said it had been a long and "meticulous" investigation but the victim had shown "great courage" throughout.

He thanked UK and Romanian authorities as well members of the public who came to the woman's aid as she lay injured.

The officer said: "The victim will never get over this but hopefully knowing that he is behind bars for a long time will provide some comfort to her and help her to move forward with her life."

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