Cezar Florea Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Attempted Rape after Three-Year Investigation

At around 6am on Saturday 7th June 2014, Cezar Florea attacked a woman aged in her early fifties in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough.

Cezar Florea Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Attempted Rape after Three-Year Investigation The woman suffered a broken shoulder, arm and nose along with other injuries during the incident.

Florea then made his way to his native Romania in an attempt to avoid police.

An intricate and protracted investigation led to the identification of Florea, and police were able to trace him to Romania and secure a European Arrest Warrant to return him to the UK to face court proceedings.

Today, after more than three years, he was brought to justice and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. The Judge told Florea that his actions had had a “catastrophic psychological effect” on the victim.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth, said: “We have worked tirelessly to ensure that Cezar Florea is put behind bars in the UK.

“This has been a protracted and intricate investigation which has seen hours upon hours of meticulous investigative work by detectives. This is the type of case which gives detectives sleepless nights. This could have happened to anyone’s mother, sister or grandmother.

“It has taken three years to get to this point, but now the victim of this horrendous crime has seen justice served. Both in the immediate aftermath of the incident and throughout the investigation, she has shown great courage and this bravery must be commended.

“Over the course of the last three years, we tracked Florea’s movements to eventually locate him in Romania. We then had to gather enough evidence to gain a European Arrest Warrant in order to bring him back to the UK to face the consequences of his actions.

“This has involved close working with the National Crime Agency, Interpol, the Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service as well as the Romanian authorities. My thanks go to them.

“More importantly, I would like to thank the members of the community both locally and in Romania that came forward with information which helped us to identify and trace Cezar Florea following the release of footage of him. Their information was key to this investigation.

“Finally, on the morning of this vicious attack, there were members of the public who went to the aid of the victim as she lay injured. I would like to publically thank them for helping her in the immediate aftermath of this traumatic ordeal and helping her get the assistance she needed. I know the victim is extremely grateful for their help.

“The sentence handed out today acknowledges the severity of the crimes committed by Cezar Florea. The victim will never get over this but hopefully knowing that he is behind bars for a long time will provide some comfort to her and help her to move forward with her life.”

A statement on behalf of the victim and her family, said: “On behalf of the family we are thankful that today has seen justice for this awful crime, which almost destroyed our sisters’ life.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Cleveland Police, especially Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth, for the tremendous effort they put in to convicting Cezar Florea. The way they have treated our family has been above and beyond what would be expected.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Middlesbrough SARC and ARCH North East who have been a huge support through this horrendous chapter of our lives.”

Investigative timeline

• 07/06/14 – Initial appeal and details of incident released
• 08/06/14 – Re-appeal issued and interviews at scene.
•  09/06/14 – Update on response to appeal.
•  10/06/14 – Man arrested in West Yorks area. The man was discounted from the investigation within days and was released.
•  16/06/14 – CCTV footage and stills of suspect released. The release of the footage prompted a number of members of the public to call in with the name of the suspect.
•  26/06/14 – Cezar Florea named as wanted suspect.
•  01/07/14 – Further appeal issued along with new photo.
•  22/07/14 – National Crimewatch appeal for Cezar Florea.
•  23/07/14 – Update provided on response to Crimewatch appeal.
•  19/08/14 – Facebook account established purely for the purposes of contacting Cezar Florea’s associates. Messages sent to Cezar Florea’s contacts on Facebook in the UK and Romania.
Appeals sent to Romanian publications for assistance from the Romanian community.
•  06/03/15 – Rape takes place at bus stop in Leeds which has a number of similarities to the attempted rape case in Middlesbrough. Officers liaise with West Yorkshire Police to establish if there is any connection between the two.
•  20/05/15 – Update on enquiries and European Arrest Warrant.
•  05/06/15 – One year anniversary of the incident – statement issued.
•  25/06/15 – Florea detained in Romania.
•  09/07/15 – Confirmation of arrest of Cezar Florea.
•  06/07/17 – Florea extradited to UK after serving a sentence for robbery in Romania.
•  07/07/17 – Cezar Florea appears at Court.