Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 15:51 UK

Girl 'was found with throat cut'

Scene at Compton Row in Harehills, Leeds
Mr Clark lived in the same street as the Zommer family

A teenager was sexually assaulted and murdered in her home by a convicted rapist, a court has heard.

Fourteen-year-old Zuzanna Zommer's body was found by her parents at their home in Compton Row, Leeds, with her throat cut and skull fractured.

Michael Clark, 40, of the same street, allegedly attacked Zuzanna in October, two months after her family arrived from Poland.

Mr Clark denies a charge of murder and one of sexual assault.

Adrian Waterman, QC, prosecuting, told the jury at Sheffield Crown Court that Mr Clark lived next-door-but-one to the Zommer family in the Harehills area of Leeds.

You may think, in the face of what confronted her - a grown man armed with a knife and sexual and murderous intent - she was defenceless
Adrian Waterman QC
He befriended the Zommer family when they moved to the area but his behaviour had given Zuzanna's father cause for concern, he said.

On the morning of 1 October her parents had gone out to find work in Leeds city centre, leaving their daughter at home playing on a laptop.

Mr Clark told police he was in a Post Office at the time of the murder and later went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

But the prosecution said his timings did not match and despite his claim of an alibi he had time to attack and kill Zuzanna.

Prosecutor Adrian Waterman said: "You may think, in the face of what confronted her - a grown man armed with a knife and sexual and murderous intent - she was defenceless."

He said one of the knives used to attack Zuzanna was found in a sink at her home. Another was found in a bin which also contained bloodstained tissues and a chocolate bar wrapper.

"She (Zuzanna) answered the door to the defendant who then attacked her and killed her, put the knife and tissues in the bin, ate the chocolate bar, went home, changed at least some of his clothes and went to the Post Office by 10.45 GMT."

Mr Waterman told the jury that In 1991 Mr Clark was convicted of raping a woman he met in a nightclub.

Five years later he was convicted of assaulting two police officers, while in 1998 he was convicted of indecent assault and affray after he attacked a woman who managed to escape from him by breaking a window.

In 2003 he was convicted of attacking a prostitute.

The case continues.




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