Jury still to reach verdict in trial of Sunderland restaurant workers accused of raping woman
A jury in the trial of two restaurant workers accused of raping a woman whoÂ they then dumped at a roadside miles away from her home has not yet reached a verdict.
The woman, who cannot be named, has told jurors she was attacked by two strangers after she got into what she believed was an unlicensed taxi after drinking in Sunderland city centre in April 2016.
During a trial at Newcastle Crown Court prosecutors have claimed driver Syed Ahmed, 21, of Chester Street East, and passenger Najirul Miah, 20, of Ashwood Terrace, both Sunderland, used her as a "piece of meat" before she was "discarded on the ground like a piece of trash."
The two men claim the woman consented to be intimate with each of them in turn, inside the vehicle, at a deserted area in Hendon, but admit they drove off and left her afterwards, miles in the opposite direction to where she lived.
Ahmed denies an offence of rape and one of theft. Miah denies two offences of rape and one of sexual assault.
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Both men deny a joint offence of false imprisonment.
Jurors have now deliberated in the case for around six hours but have not yet reached any verdicts.
The panel will resume discussions on Monday.
The trial continues.