Man guilty of trespassing with intent to commit sexual offences in East Lancashire

29/03/2017

A 29-year-old man has today been found guilty of trespassing at houses in Nelson and Barrowford in East Lancashire in order to sexually assault women between May and October 2016.

Zsolt Suhaj, who has previous convictions for similar offences in Canada in 2002, broke into five homes and attempted to break into a sixth.  He raped one woman and sexually assaulted another woman, but was interrupted at the other homes before he could commit any sexual offences.

Sophie Lorimer for the CPS said: "Today Zsolt Suhaj has been found guilty of committing a serious of sinister offences over a six month period.

"Throughout the case he denied committing the sexual offences. He admitted being in all the homes, but insisted he was looking for money and gold to steal. Nothing was stolen from any of the homes, even where valuable items could clearly be seen.  He claimed that the sexual assault had been accidental and that he had had consensual sex with a woman after climbing through her bedroom window at four in the morning.

"However, the prosecution case was that that his intention was to carry out pre-planned sexual attacks. The CPS applied for Bad Character Evidence to be presented to the jury detailing how he had a history of committing similar offences in another country.  The jury after carefully considering all the evidence against him have found him unanimously guilty of the sexual offences he faced.

"I would like to thank all the victims for showing great courage in coming forward and testifying against him in court, which has enabled the CPS to build a strong prosecution case and bring this dangerous sexual offender to justice."

Note to editors:

  • Sophie Lorimer is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the North West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit
  • Zsolt Suhaj was found guilty of rape, sexual assault, trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence at five homes and attempting to trespass with intent at another home. 
  • He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to five burglaries and one attempted burglary in relation to the same homes.
  • Zsolt Suhaj has previous convictions for three offences of prowling by night when he peered into women’s windows, one offence of sexual assault and one offence of break, enter and commit sexual assault between 2.2.12 and 4.3.12 in Canada.