Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 14:37 UK

Killer rapist must serve 35 years

Michael Clark
Clark was convicted of rape in 1991

A convicted rapist who murdered a 14-year-old girl in a frenzied attack at her home has been told he must serve at least 35 years in prison.

Michael Clark, 40, was given a life sentence at Sheffield Crown Court for the murder of Polish teenager Zuzanna Zommer in Leeds last October.

Clark attacked Zuzanna two months after her family arrived from Poland.

Her body was found by her parents at their home in Compton Row with her throat cut and skull fractured.

She had also been sexually assaulted.

He is without doubt an extremely dangerous sexual predator
Det Supt Bill Shackleton

The judge, Mr Justice King, told Clark he had considered imposing a so-called whole life tariff which would have meant him never having the possibility of being released.

But the judge said he had decided instead he must serve at least 35 years before he is considered for parole.

The judge said: "No words of mine could express the grief, distress and profound sense of loss caused by your actions to the Zommer family.

"These were truly wicked acts. You have shown no remorse.

"Your victim was particularly vulnerable. She was 14. Your attack was particularly brutal and frenzied."

Jurors were told Clark, who was convicted of rape in 1991, had befriended the Zommer family when they moved into his street.

Zuzanna Zommer
The girl had moved to Leeds from Poland with her family

But not long afterwards, his behaviour began to worry Zuzanna's father.

On the day she was killed, Zuzanna's parents had gone out to find work in Leeds city centre, leaving her at home.

Solvent abuser Clark later told the police he had an alibi, insisting he was in a post office collecting benefits at the time of the murder, but officers disproved it.

After the hearing, Det Supt Bill Shackleton, from West Yorkshire Police, said, "The Zommer family had only been in England for a few weeks when Zuzanna was brutally murdered by Michael Clark.

"Clark has a history of violent sexual offences as was heard during the trial.

"He is without doubt an extremely dangerous sexual predator. The sentence he received today will ensure that he will no longer present a danger to the public."

Rapist killed neighbour's child
09 May 08 |  West Yorkshire
Girl 'was found with throat cut'
24 Apr 08 |  West Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific