Jailed: 'Vile' rapist who hunted for targets on trains and tied up victim in her flat

Temesgen Desta was jailed for life for two sex attacks that took place just a few hours apart (Pictures: West Midlands Police)

A rapist who carried out two sex attacks in separate cities within 24 hours after using the rail network to travel the country hunting for victims has been jailed for life.

Temesgen Desta sparked a nationwide manhunt after attacking a woman in Merseyside then forcing his way into another victim’s flat in Birmingham less than a day later.

Desta, 32, attacked a 54-year-old woman on a beach in Crosby, Merseyside, grabbing her throat and trying to rape her on March 14.

The following day, he forced his way into a flat in Birmingham city centre, again grabbing his 32-year-old victim by the throat to stop her screaming for help then tying her up with a phone cable.

West Midlands Police launched a manhunt for Desta following the attacks. He was traced to Scotland after being recognised by ports officers and arrested on March 21.

Desta, of no fixed address, was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 10 years after being convicted by a jury of rape, intent to commit rape and two counts of false imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court.

Desta was convicted by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court and jailed for life (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Detective Superintendent Nick Walton, from West Midlands Police’s public protection unit, said: "These were violent sex attacks which were traumatic and distressing for both women who were unknown to Desta. On both occasions he grabbed them by the throat and his victims would have undoubtedly feared for their lives.

"Just hours after his attack in Liverpool he travelled to Birmingham and targeted a woman in her apartment. She was raped and then left tied up and unable to move.

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“Without a friend coming to the property not long after her horrific ordeal she could have been left there for hours.”

He said Desta being put behind bars would mean he is “unable to hurt anybody else”.

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