Brutal Sheffield rapist jailed for life as chilling CCTV show him stalking victim

A 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 a city centre.

By Lee Peace
Friday, 19th April 2019, 8:13 am
Updated Friday, 19th April 2019, 3:42 pm

CCTV footage showed Sheffield man Samuel Fortes, aged 27, stalking his victim for a "considerable amount of time" as she made her way through Leeds city centre after a night out with friends.

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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.

Samuel Fortes.

The woman, who was on FaceTime to her boyfriend, 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.

CCTV released by police.

She was left with serious 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 the victim’s facial injuries were “some of the worst” they had seen in 11 years of service.

The victim told police officers she thought she was going to die during the attack.

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."

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.

The court heard Fortes has previous convictions relating to domestic violence. 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.”

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

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

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

He praised the victim for her “extraordinary courage" in providing a victim impact statement.

After Fortes was sentenced yesterday, the victim also gave police permission to release chilling CCTV footage of Fortes stalking her in the lead up to the attack.

After the court hearing, Detective Superintendent Jaz Khan said: “Fortes subjected this brave woman to a horrific ordeal and I want to praise her for her bravery in helping to bring her brutal attacker to justice.

“Despite being in fear for her life she bravely fought her attacker and her boyfriend had the foresight to screenshot the incident – this was a key piece of evidence along with the DNA hit which helped to bring Fortes to justice.”