A sexual predator who prowled the streets of Ipswich at night looking for young women to attack is facing a long jail sentence after being convicted of attempting to rape two teenagers.

Judge Emma Peters described 25-year-old Adiley Pires, who was nicknamed “Zombie” by work colleagues, as "dangerous" and said he had caused "utter terror" to his two teenage victims.

The young women, aged 17 and 18, had been walking home late at night on their own when Pires followed them and grabbed hold of them before trying to rape them in attacks a year apart.

Pires, who was wearing a black Covid face mask, had left Unit 17 nightclub in Cardinal Park shortly after the 18-year-old victim in October 2021 and followed her along the town’s Waterfront before attacking her near the Foundry Mill flats.

He had run off after residents of flats in the area heard her screams and shouted at him to leave her alone.

Pires was arrested shortly afterwards and released on bail but was rearrested in December last year after he attacked a 17-year-old girl, while wearing a balaclava, as she walked along a towpath near Tower Mill Road in Ipswich.

There were emotional scenes in Ipswich Crown Court as Pires, of Kensington Road, Ipswich, was convicted of two offences of attempted rape and one offence of sexual assault. He had denied the charges.

During his trial the court heard that Pires, who chose not to be in court for the verdicts, admitted assaulting the women but denied having a sexual motive.

Adjourning sentence on Pires until December 20 to allow the probation service to prepare a report on him, Judge Peters praised the bravery of his young victims, one of whom chose to face Pires across the courtroom without the benefit of a screen while giving her evidence.

Following the jury’s guilty verdicts Judge Peters said Pires, who was described by the prosecution as being a "sexual predator", said the victims had been "doing nothing more than walking home as they should be entitled to do safely".

The judge praised the police for their investigation and reassured the jury that stranger rapes were not common in the town.