A man has been jailed after he raped a teenager in Sunderland.
Today Syed Ali, 47, from Barnes, was sentenced to eight years in prison after previously being found guilty rape at Newcastle Crown Court.
He is clearly a dangerous individual and the public deserve to be protected from him.Detective Inspector Phil Bond
Ali was arrested after a girl was raped in Mowbray Park on Monday, December 8, last year.
Detective Inspector Phil Bond, of Northumbria Police, 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 can not 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.
“Although we know this sentence will in no way help erase what has happened, we hope there is some comfort in knowing Ali is now in prison.
“We would continue to urge anyone who feels they have been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward and speak to police with confidence they will receive the support they need, whether from police or another agency.”
Previously, the court heard that the takeaway worker raped the frightened teenager in bushes in the city centre park.
Ali told his victim he was carrying a knife and warned she would be “hurt” if she did not leave the Bridges Shopping centre with her friend and follow him to Mowbray Park.
Ali claimed throughout a trial by a jury he had consensual sex with the girl and said he gave her £10 to buy cigarettes.
After five hours deliberation jurors found him guilty of rape.
The dad-of-seven was found not guilty of sexually assaulting the girl’s friend.