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Stoke-on-Trent man found guilty of attack on woman in park

A Stoke-on-Trent man who left a woman for dead has been found guilty of attempted murder.

25-year-old Zakarya Etarghi, of no fixed address, was also convicted of rape following a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

The jury heard the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was found by a member of the public in a park in Cedar Road in Leicester with life-threatening head injuries on 3 August 2018.

Police immediately launched a major investigation.

Following the attack, Etarghi went into hiding.

Enquiries led police to identify him on CCTV footage buying alcohol in a shop prior to carrying out the violent assault.

Further CCTV then showed him on a nearby street as he fled the scene of his crime. Forensic analysis of items found at the scene also led police to Etarghi.

During the investigation, a number of posters – printed in both English and Polish – were issued around the area of Cedar Road, urging anyone with information to come forward and speak to detectives if they had information.

Etarghi was found by police at an address in Stoke-on-Trent on 17 August.

Detective Inspector Mark Sinski, the senior investigating officer, said: “This was a horrific assault, leaving the victim with life-threatening injuries that have had a lasting impact and from which she is still recovering. There is little doubt that she has only survived due to the early and extensive medical treatment she received.

“Etarghi went to Stoke-on-Trent in a bid to try and evade arrest. However, we were able to identify him from DNA recovered from items left at the scene, which was pivotal to our investigation.

“We also found messages he sent to friends saying he needed to leave the country. He was fully aware that he was wanted by police.”

Etarghi will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on 25 March.

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