Police praise rape victim's 'bravery' after Sunderland sex attack trial verdicts

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt has praised the rape victim's bravery.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt has praised the rape victim's bravery.

Police have praised the bravery of a rape victim after two men were convicted of "despicable" sex attacks on her at a flat.

Saheed Rasoolli and Araz Abdulla, both from Sunderland, have been warned they face lengthy jail setences after a crown court jury found them guilty on Thursday of committing the offences in the city's Roker Avenue earlier this year.

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a despicable act which caused a great deal of upset and distress to both the victim and the local community as a whole.

“Rasoolli and Abdulla both insisted their innocence throughout this case, but today they have been convicted of their crimes and must now face the consequences of their selfish actions.

“Rape is a horrific crime that has a devastating effect on victims and a corrosive impact on society.

"We will leave no stone unturned when pursuing perpetrators to ensure they are brought to justice.

“I am pleased that these two men are now set to face a significant amount of time behind bars and are unable to carry out any more appalling acts of this kind.

“I would like to praise the victim for her bravery throughout this investigation, as well as the team of detectives who worked incredibly hard to secure these convictions.

“There can be no doubt whatsoever that the streets of Sunderland are a safer place without Rasoolli and Abdulla.”

The court was told how the victim was waiting for a bus in the city centre on May 23 this year when she was approached by Rasoolli.

She was then taken back to a property on Roker Avenue and raped. Once Rasoolli had left the room, Abdulla then entered and forced himself on the victim.

The woman fled to a nearby shop and reported the offences to police.

Rasoolli, 30, of Hylton Road, and Abdulla, 23, of Roker Avenue, are remanded in custody until they are sentenced on Monday, December 17 at Newcastle Crown Court.