A sex offender with a "deep-seated hatred towards women" - according to a detective - has been jailed for attacks on two women.

Mentesnot Cheru, 29, of Winchelsea Road, Tottenham, carried out both attacks within minutes of each other earlier this year and both women were walking along or near Philip Lane.

He was sentenced to five years and eight months behind bars at Wood Green Crown Court today (September 11).

Cheru was convicted at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on June 27 after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault and possession of cannabis.

The attacks happened on Thursday, April 4.

At about 10.20am, a 20-year-old woman was walking along Philip Lane before turning left into Clyde Road behind Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness. She then noticed a man running behind her.

Tottenham Independent:

Mentesnot Cheru attacked two women in Tottenham. Photo: Met Police

Although she thought this was unusual, she believed he was running for cover as it was raining. Moments later, he approached her from behind, sexually assaulted her, and then swore at her.

Cheru punched her around five times, striking her upper body and face. The victim managed to run away but dropped her umbrella as Cheru ran after her.




The incident was witnessed by a driver who chased Cheru, filming him with a mobile phone as he escaped along Clyde Road.

The 20-year-old victim was extremely traumatised and sustained injuries that required hospital treatment.

Cheru's next attack occurred just minutes earlier between 10.15am and 10.20am.

Tottenham Independent:

Jeans worn by Cheru during the attacks. Photo: Met Police

A 27-year-old woman was walking along the same road when the suspect approached her from behind and slapped her hard to her lower body.

She immediately turned around and he punched her on the left side of her face and said "I know you", despite being a stranger. He then ran off towards Tottenham High Road.

Police launched a media campaign to try to locate the sex offender. Mobile phone footage from a member of the public was released which showed the attacker fleeing the scene.

Coincidentally, on May 3, the member of the public that had filmed the attacker was walking along Winchelsea Road when he noticed the same man enter an address. He dialled 999 and officers attended immediately.

Tottenham Independent:

The racket Cheru was seen carrying when fleeing an attack. Photo: Met Police

Cheru was found inside and was arrested. A search of his flat revealed the exact clothing and sports racket that he was seen with in the mobile phone footage.

The two victims identified him in an identification process.

During interview, Cheru lied and claimed he was elsewhere at the time of the attacks.

But he was charged the following day and was remanded in custody. After being faced with the overwhelming evidence and not being able to provide an alibi, he pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial.

Tottenham Independent:

A search of Cheru's flat revealed the exact clothing he was seen with in the mobile phone footage. Photo: Met Police

Cheru was given a custodial sentence of two years and eight months, plus a three year extended licence, giving a total sentence of five years and eight months.

He must serve two thirds of his sentence and there was a finding of dangerousness meaning that he cannot be released until the parole board are satisfied he is safe to do so.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

During the sentencing today, the court heard about Cheru's violent offending history:

  • He was sentenced three months in a young offender’s institution on October 19, 2009 for assaulting two police officers.
  • Shortly after his release, he attacked a police officer in Croydon, stabbing him in the back with a knife. He was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court to seven years in a young offender’s institute on April 6, 2010.
  • While in prison, he attacked prison officer, and on May 3, 2011, he was ordered to serve twelve weeks of a consecutive sentence.
  • Cheru was also convicted of exposing himself to a female toilet attendant in Salford, Greater Manchester on January 10, 2016. He was convicted on January 12, 2016 at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court. He was sentenced to eighteen weeks in prison and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

Judge Gregory Perrins told Cheru: “You have a pattern of sexual behaviour which is getting worse. You lack insight and have deeply held misogynistic views. You present a very high risk of sexual re-offending."

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from north area criminal investigation department and who led the investigation, said: “It was clear from the outset that we were seeking a vicious and sinister individual, this was made clear by his offending history.

“Cheru has a deep-seated hatred towards women, propensity to commit violence and I am absolutely convinced that he would have struck again. The clear finding of dangerousness in this case was inevitable. He poses a significant risk to the public.”

“He targeted lone women thinking that he could get away with his despicable actions.

Tottenham Independent:

Cheru's rucksack recovered from his flat. Photo: Met Police

“I would like to thank the gentleman that came to the aid of the woman being attacked. Rather than just walking by, he stepped in, stopping her from being injured further. He also had the foresight to film Cheru which was crucial as we found all the clothes he was wearing at the time of the attack in his flat. I will be requesting that the gentlemen is formally recognized for his bravery and public spirit.

“I’d also like to reach out to anyone who believes they may have been attacked by Cheru, please come forward to my team in confidence and we will provide you with specialist support.”