Two guilty of sex at­tacks that sparked city-wide out rage

Sunderland Echo - - Front page - By Karon Kelly [email protected]­me­dia.co.uk Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

Two at­tack­ers who raped a woman at asy­lum seek­ers’ ac­com­mo­da­tion are fac­ing years be­hind bars.

Sa­heed Ra­soolli, 30, and Araz Ab­dulla, 23, each took a turn to rape the stranger in the bed­room of a flat at Roker Av­enue, in Sun­der­land, af­ter she was lured there from a bus stop.

New­cas­tle Crown Court heard the vic­tim “couldn’t get her breath” dur­ing the at­tacks and she was left with nail marks to her neck, throat and arms af­ter the or­deal.

Ra­soolli and Ab­dulla both de­nied rape and claimed dur­ing a trial that the woman con­sented to what hap­pened at the prop­erty.

But af­ter less than three hours de­lib­er­a­tion ju­rors found both men guilty of rape.

The pair will be sen­tenced on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 17.

Pros­e­cu­tor Paul Abra­hams told ju­rors the woman, who is in her 20s, had been wait­ing for a bus in the city ear­lier this year when she was ap­proached by Ra­soolli, who had “de­cided at this early stage he was go­ing to have sex with this fe­male, what­ever her views”.

Mr Abra­hams said the vic­tim was taken by Ra­soolli to a “multi-oc­cu­pancy build­ing, con­tain­ing a num­ber of flats oc­cu­pied by asy­lum seek­ers” and into Ab­dulla’s bed­room, who left the room.

He told ju­rors: “Ra­soolli, with­out warn­ing pushed her on the bed.”

Mr Abra­hams said Ra­soolli had sex with the woman and added: “She told him to stop and tried to push him off, she made it clear she didn’t want to have any kind of sex­ual ac­tiv­ity, but de­spite her at­tempts, he ig­nored her and con­tin­ued to force him­self on her.”

The court heard when Ra­soolli had fin­ished with the vic­tim he left the room, Ab­dulla re­turned and took his turn to rape the woman.

Mr Abra­hams said: “Again, she hadn’t wanted any kind of sex­ual ac­tiv­ity and told him to stop.

“She tried push­ing him away but he con­tin­ued rap­ing her.”

The court heard when Ab­dulla fin­ished with the woman he left the room and she was able to get away.

The court heard two days into the po­lice man­hunt for the two at­tack­ers, Ab­dulla ap­proached an of­fi­cer and claimed he had been as­saulted by a male and fe­male.

Mr Abra­hams said: “He sug­gested Ra­soolli had threat­ened him into hav­ing sex with the girl.

“He claimed Ra­soolli had a knife and while threat­en­ing him had put the knife to his head.

“He said the girl grabbed his head and forced him to give her oral sex and de­manded he have sex with her. “He said he had done this while Ra­soolli had been out­side the bed­room with the knife.

“He then said he had ran away and slept rough be­cause he was fright­ened.”

The court heard Ra­soolli was later ar­rested in Mid­dles­brough.

He told po­lice in his first in­ter­view the woman had “come on to him” and he had “begged her to go away”.

Dur­ing a sec­ond in­ter­view he said the vic­tim had “made it up”.

He dis­missed Ab­dulla’s claims. Ab­dulla, of Roker Av­enue, Sun­der­land, and Ra­soolli, of Hyl­ton Road, Sun­der­land, have both been re­manded in cus­tody.

Araz Ab­dulla, top, and Sa­heed Ra­soolli have been found guilty of rape.

Po­lice pa­trolling Roker Av­enue.

Araz Ab­dulla, left, and Sa­heed Ra­soolli.

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