A sex attacker who forced a teenage girl out of a shopping centre and into a park where he raped her has been jailed for eight years.
Syed Ali told his teenage victim he was carrying a knife and she would be “hurt” if she did not leave The Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland, with her friend, and follow him to nearby Mowbray Park.
The 47-year-old was tried before a jury at Newcastle Crown Court last month, where he claimed he had consensual sex with the girl.
However, he was found guilty of rape by jurors after five hours of deliberation.
Ali, formally of Dunelm, Sunderland, was found not guilty of sexually assaulting the victim’s friend.
The court heard Ali made the victim’s friend keep watch during the attack and slipped £10 into the victim’s pocket afterwards.
There’s a degree of humiliation in that you slipped her £10 after the incident occurred.Judge Paul Sloan
Police described Ali as a dangerous individual and said the public deserve to be protected from him.
Judge Paul Sloan told Ali, who moved to the UK from Bangladesh in 1991 and is a married man with seven children: “She was shaking and crying telling you to stop and for you to get off her while you raped her.
“At one point you stopped and continued again, against her pleas.
“Having raped her you then paid £10 into her pocket saying that was for sex.
“This is clearly a serious offence.
“There’s a degree of humiliation in that you slipped her £10 after the incident occurred.
“You particularly targeted her because you considered her to be young and vulnerable.”
Detective Inspector Phil Bond said: “Ali preyed on his victim, befriending her and quickly gaining her trust before subjecting her to a horrific attack.
“He is clearly a dangerous individual and the public deserve to be protected from him.
“I am pleased he will now spend a substantial amount of time behind bars where he cannot cause further harm to anyone.
“I hope the victim and her family can now move on from what has been an incredibly distressing time and can come to terms with what has happened and rebuild their lives.”