Student accused of Sunderland sex attacks 'threatened' witness, court told

The trial is taking place at Newcastle Crown Court
The trial is taking place at Newcastle Crown Court

A serial sex attacker and drug dealer tried to avoid his crimes being exposed by ordering a witness to lie to the police, a court has heard.

University student Omar Sharif, who drove a flash Mercedes motor with a personalised number plate is accused of raping and attacking teenage girls after supplying them with illegal drugs, which he denies.

Milagros Sanchez arriving at Newcastle Crown Court

Milagros Sanchez arriving at Newcastle Crown Court

A 21-year-old man told police he was threatened and bribed by the 22-year-old to "put heat" on one of the alleged victims and her friend and to make a false statement about what he knew.

He said Sharif ordered him to make the alleged victim and her friend "look like bad people in all of this".

During a video interview with detectives, which was made last year and has been played to jurors at Newcastle Crown Court, the man said: "I have been threatened by a man called Omar Sharif.

"I have been told to do things that I wouldn't really want to do."

Georgi Karaboykov

Georgi Karaboykov

The man said he was told to "put heat on" an alleged victim who said she was raped in Sunderland and received threats as well as an offer of money from Sharif.

He said: "He said 'you have to do it, you are my main witness, you are my only way out of this'.

"I said I know I could help but I can't help, I don't want to be lying to the police. I don't want to get myself into bother, I have never been in bother with the police before.

"He said 'if you are not going to do it this way, I'm going to send people after you'."

Luke Richardson outside of Newcastle Crown Court

Luke Richardson outside of Newcastle Crown Court

The witness added: "He has been calling me, threatening me, he has been telling me he will send people after me and after my family if I didn't do what he told me to do.

"He's threatened me, he has brought up names I have known before as big people.

"I don't want anyone turning up on my doorstep and doing things to my family.

"I didn't really want any of this to happen."

The witness said Sharif was ringing him "three to four times per day" and added: "If I stand up for him, stand for him, he will not just praise me but actually pay as well.

"He mentioned money and said he's trying to get lots of other people involved to give statements against them, against (the complainant)."

Sharif, of no fixed address, who has admitted some drugs offences, denies five charges of rape, relating to two separate alleged victims and one of sexual assault, in relation to a third alleged victim and three charges of supplying MDMA.

Sharif is being tried alongside Milagros Sanchez, 24, who denies facilitating sexual exploitation at her rented flat at Chester Road, Sunderland, where it is claimed a teenager was raped by two strangers.

Luke Richardson, 20, of Ponden Hill, Sunderland, and Georgi Karaboykov, 34, of Horatio Street, Sunderland, both deny rape and assault by penetration in connection with what happened at Sanchez's flat that night.

They both claim the alleged victim consented to what went on.

Sharif's brother Amer Sharif, 19, of Brunton Terrace, Sunderland, denies perverting the course of justice over claims he tried to tamper with the police investigation.

The trial continues.