A ‘DEVIANT’ sexual predator who targeted vulnerable women as they slept and raped a pensioner after sneaking into her home has been jailed for life.

Passing sentence Judge Sara Dodd described Zsolt Suhaj, 26, as ‘every woman’s worst nightmare’ and said the escalation of his offending showed he posed a ‘significant risk to women’.

The sentence comes as the detective who led the investigation said he feared Suhaj, of Barkerhouse Road, Nelson , had committed further offences while in England.

DCI Gary Brooks also spoke of his concern that Suhaj had been allowed to enter the country, having a previous conviction for sexual assault from his time in Canada.

Sentencing of Suhaj, who is a Hungarian national,was delayed at Burnley Crown Court after Judge Dodd raised concerns for the safety of her dock officers when the defendant could be heard shouting ‘I’m going to kill you’ from the cells.

When the hearing did go ahead he was removed from the dock and taken to Forest Bank Prison after he attempted to bite an officer and began headbutting the safety glass.

Most of Suhaj’s seven victims were from the Nelson and Colne area.

They woke to find him standing over them and staring into their eyes.

The court heard Suhaj had been deported from Canada in 2012 after he committed a number of similar offences in Toronto during a one-week period, including the sexual assault of a woman as she sat with friends in a cafe and a house trespass in which the victim awoke to find Suhaj committing a sex act at her bedside.

Police said he flew from his home country to the UK in January 2016 to join family members in East Lancashire.


The court heard that last May he gained access to the Nelson home of a 70-year-old woman who woke to find Suhaj with his hand between her legs.

The grandmother, whose husband was sleeping in another room, said she screamed and tried to push his face away and eventually he left the house.

The court heard there were four more reports of women, aged between 22 and 84, waking to find Suhaj in their homes in July and August last year, before he fled, while another woman raised the alarm when the defendant tried to gain entry through patio doors.

The court heard his rape victim thought she was going to be murdered after Suhaj climbed through her bedroom window, placed his hands over her mouth, pushed her on to her bed and said: “I love sex, I want sex. I am not going to hurt you but I want sex.”

Following the rape, detectives released CCTV images of the suspect and staff at a local takeaway recognised Suhaj and he was subsequently arrested.

When interviewed, Suhaj admitted to being at the scene of the crimes - all but one were bungalows - but said he was there to steal money and gold for drugs and food.

He then claimed at his trial that his rape victim had consented to sex after lying he had met up with her earlier in the day.

Last month, 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.

Sentencing him to life, with a minimum period of 10 years and 171 days behind bars, Judge Dodd said: “Canadian authorities described you as predatory and brazen. That is an assessment that I agree with.

“You have no insight into your own deviant sexual behaviour.

“Until this changes you will continue to pose a significant risk of harm to women by the commissioning of further sexual offending.”

Speaking after the hearing DCI Brooks said: “There is no doubt in my mind that he is a dangerous sexual predator whose behaviour escalated over the period of just few months, culminating in the rape of an innocent woman who should have been safe in her own home.

“I truly believe he has committed further offences that we have not been able to bring him before the court over and I would encourage any potential victims to come forward.”

He added: “Clearly, it is disappointing he entered into England in January 2016 and his previous offending was not flagged up. That is something which is a cause for concern.”