Student lied about murdered uncle Tipu Sultan to try and avoid sex and drugs convictions, court told
A student made up "cold-blooded" lies about his murdered uncle dying in his arms so he could gain sympathy from a jury and "wriggle out of" serious sex and drugs charges, a court has heard.
Omar Sharif gave "powerful" evidence last year at his trial for charges of rape, sexual assault and drugs offences about cradling Tipu Sultan, 32, after he was shot at his takeaway in South Shields and begging "please don't die" as his life ebbed away.
The 23-year-old, who had been a promising student at Northumbria University, had told jurors his own life took a "downward spiral" after his traumatic involvement in the tragedy and that his life descended into drug taking and criminal accusations being made against him.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the case last year ended before the jury could return any verdicts and Sharif is now facing a new trial.
Sharif, of Brunton Terrace, Sunderland, denies sexual assault, four drugs supply offences and six charges of rape against three alleged victims, three offences of perverting the course of justice, one of attempting an offence under the proceeds of crime act and one of perjury.
Sharif tried 'to turn that awful event to his advantage', court told
The court heard Sharif's uncle, Mr Sultan, was shot dead at the takeaway where he worked and that two men are now serving "very long sentences indeed" for the killing.
Gavin Doig, prosecuting, said: "We say Omar Sharif tried, quite ruthlessly, to turn that awful event to his advantage, to illicit the sympathy of last year's jury."
The prosecutor told the court that in evidence to last year's jury Sharif said he was at the murder scene in the immediate aftermath, and had driven there with his mother and grandmother.
Sharif also told the jury at his previous trial that he had stayed in the car until he heard a "bloodcurdling scream" by his mother.
Mr Doig added: "He jumped out of the car and ran through the back door to see his uncle lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
"He said he cradled his uncle in his arms and tried to stem the bleeding with his t-shirt, saying 'don't die, please don't die'.
"He said it was too late, his uncle did die."
The court heard Sharif had told the jury he "could not forget" the scene in the takeaway and that because of what he saw he began to take drugs himself.
He said this led him into debt and onto a "downward spiral".
Sign up to our daily newsletter
Mr Doig told the court: "Lies, lies, lies. Omar Sharif was never there. He made up all those details of his presence and involvement to try and fool your predecessors in the first trial.
"Omar Sharif never ran in through the back door. How do we know? Because, as the scene of crime photos show, his uncles's body was in the back lane all along, lying where it fell."
Mr Doig said the "bloodcurdling scream" from Sharif's mother never happened as she was not there.
Sharif claims the discrepancies in his story about being at the murder scene were "mistakes, not lies".
Sex attack claims against Omar Sharif
It is alleged that Sharif carried out his own sex attacks on victims but also arranged for vulnerable women to be available as "entertainment" at parties, for men who were clients of his drugs business.
One woman, who the court heard was given free drugs at a party at 25-year-old Milagros Sanchez's rented flat on Chester Road, Sunderland, was raped by two men, who prosecutors claim was Luke Richardson, 21, and Georgi Karaboykov, 35, while she was "wiped out".
Both men claim the victim consented to sexual activity with them.
Prosecutors say Sharif sexually assaulted a woman at a student accommodation in Sunderland after plying her with so much MDMA that she was "out of it".
He is also accused of raping a woman he gave drugs to in a room at a Travelodge in Sunderland and attacking her again at his home.
Sharif is also charged with raping another victim at a house she was looking after.
He is further accused of repeated rape offences on another woman, in his car, after driving her to a deserted seafront area in Seaham.
The accused and the charges they face
*Richardson, of Ponden Hill, Sunderland, and Karaboykov, of Horatio Street, Sunderland, both deny one offence sexual assault and one of rape, all on the same woman.
*Sanchez, of Chester Road, Sunderland, denies facilitating sexual exploitation.
*Sharif's brother Amer Sharif, 20, of Brunton Terrace, Sunderland, denies an offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The trial continues.