Sunderland University student spared jail for trying to get his brother get off rape allegations
A serial rapist's brother who tried to help his sex attacker sibling "wriggle out of" justice has kept his freedom.
University student Amer Sharif tried to convince a witness that sex offender Omar Sharif had been "framed" by one of his victims and got her to make a false statement to the police.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 20-year-old persuaded the woman that his brother had "been set up" by rival criminals who were "jealous" of his drug dealing empire.
As a result of his intervention, the woman did make a "lying statement" to the police that one of Omar's victims had confessed that the rape allegation she made against him was untrue and that she had been paid to make it.
But before any real harm was done, the woman retracted her statement and revealed to detectives that the false account was one she had been asked to provide by the Sharif brothers.
Omar Sharif is now remanded in custody awaiting sentence for multiple rapes and offences linked to his attempts to avoid justice.
University of Sunderland student Amer Sharif, who was found guilty of trying to pervert the course of justice after a trial, has now been given a suspended sentence.
Judge Penny Moreland told him: "Ultimately, the complainant's evidence was not undermined in the way you and your brother had hoped it would be.
"You were drawn into this by your older brother, in a misguided desire to help him."
Judge Moreland said Amer's offences were more than two years ago and he is now "within grasp" of a degree that can change his future.
The judge sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work.
Judge Moreland said she was satisfied Amer, of Brunton Terrace, Sunderland, poses "no risk to the public" but warned him: "There will be no second chances".
Jane Foley, defending, said Amer got involved in a "crude attempt to encourage her to provide a false account so Omar would benefit"
Miss Foley said Amer was "naive and unsophisticated" and added: "He would not have become involved in this matter had it not been for his brother's selfishness."
She added: "He loved his brother and trusted him, what a mistake that was."
Miss Foley said Amer hoped to continue on his university course and achieve his accountancy career goals so he can become a man his family can be "proud of".
Co-accused Milagros Sanchez had pleaded guilty to allowing her flat at Chester Road, Sunderland, to be used for drugs.
The 30-year-old mum claimed she knew people would take drugs during parties at the flat but denied she had seen any dealing by Omar Sharif, who was a regular guest.
Judge Moreland told her: "I am satisfied you permitted him to sell the drugs in your premises."
Sanchez was sentenced to a community order for 12 months with rehabilitation requirements.
The court heard she has been in no trouble before or since the offences two years ago and has since rid herself of her own drug habit and become a mother.
Omar Sharif, who incapacitated his victims with drugs, will be sentenced on December 19.
The former student, who was named after the film icon, drove a Mercedes sports car with personalised plate and had been commended for charity work, ensnared vulnerable women, who were all in their late teens, with free drugs so he could attack them.
The 23-year-old, who is a nephew of murdered takeaway boss Tipu Sultan, was found guilty of raping three women, sexually assaulting a fourth, supplying MDMA to the victims and an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
He admitted charges of perverting justice and perjury in relation to lies he told about being at the scene of his uncle's murder, while giving evidence at a previous trial.
Judge Penny Moreland has warned that the the former Northumbria University undergraduate, who was on track for a first class degree in Geography, may now be considered "dangerous" and could face an extended prison sentence.