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Coventry kerb crawler who tried to strangle prostitute with USB cable

Published in The Coventry Telegraph
15th September 2017


West Midlands
Carlos Cristo launched a terrifying attack on a Hillfields prostitute - including trying to throttle her with a USB cable. Cristo tried to bundle the woman in the back of his car after picking her up in Hillfields.  She managed to escape without serious injury when she made her dramatic escape.
 
Cristo, 41, of George Street, Coventry, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting assault.

The assault took place on the car park of St Bartholomew’s Church in Binley , where a CCTV camera captured the attack at the side of Cristo’s car.  During the attack, which lasted almost six minutes, he repeatedly punched and kicked his victim, who is in her early 20s, and tried to drag her back into the car.

The young woman had been working at night in Hillfields in March when a car pulled up and the driver asked what she did. She said she agreed a price of £20 for sex, and got in his car and made small talk as he drove to Binley after asking her if she minded going that far.

She said: "We’ve gone down by the back of the church. He pulled down his sun visor and pulled a tenner out. I said we’d agreed 20. He said ‘Just do [a sex act], and I’ll go to a bank machine after'. I’ve heard that before, but I was desperate for money. I thought if he doesn’t go, I’ve still got a tenner. We had sex.

“Then I’ve got dressed and I’ve looked away to get the seat back upright. As I turned, he’s got this black wire in his hand, like a USB cable, and he’s got it round my neck. I was struggling, and it was getting tighter. I’ve kneed him and he loosened his grip, and I got away and rolled out of the car.”

But she said Cristo got out and grabbed her, shouting at her to get back in the car and saying he would kill her and that he had got a knife, although she said she had not seen one. “He was trying to get the cable round my neck, and I was trying to pull it away. He was hitting me and kicking me, and he would get it round my neck again. It went on like that for a while, and I’ve thought I’m not going to get away from him, he’s going to knock me unconscious soon. So I thought, let him get me back in the car, and when he’s driving I can open the door and get out.”

She said Cristo bundled her into the back of the car and drove off past Tesco, where he had said he would use the cash machine, and then past the hospital to a roundabout where he was in the wrong lane to head back to Hillfields.

“I thought this is my only chance, at this island, because if he goes that way it’ll be too fast for me to get out. So as we’re going round the island I’m winding the window down, and when I’d got it down I got my feet up and pushed myself up through the window. He tried to grab me and I kicked out at his hand. He put his foot down, and I’ve thought, broken arm or summat, but at least I’m out – and I’ve just jumped and rolled into the road.”

She said Cristo stopped, but another car pulled up as well, and he sped off. The other car drove away as well, and her attempts to flag down passing motorists failed – until and ambulance stopped and took her to the hospital to be treated.

Cristo accepted he had assaulted her after losing his temper, claiming she had stolen his phone, but denied putting a ligature round her neck. But Recorder Benson rejected his version of events after hearing that when he was arrested the police had found four cables in his car, along with a knife.