'Woman raped in car by Sunderland strangers,' hears jury

Defendants Syed Ahmed, left, and Najirul Miah deny raping a woman in the Hendon area of Sunderland.
Defendants Syed Ahmed, left, and Najirul Miah deny raping a woman in the Hendon area of Sunderland.

A woman was raped in a car by two strangers who had been lurking around a city looking for drunk and vulnerable victims to target for sex attacks, a court heard.

The alleged victim got into a silver vehicle with Najirul Miah, 20, and Syed Ahmed, 21, after a night out in Sunderland and offered to pay the two men to take her home when she could not find a licensed taxi, jurors have been told.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the attackers drove the woman to a deserted street in Hendon, where she was raped by both men, left "traumatised" and then dumped at the roadside, miles from where she lived.

Miah, of Ashwood Terrace, Sunderland, denies three offences of rape and one of sexual assault and Ahmed, of Chester Street East, Sunderland, denies one charge of rape and one of theft.

Both men deny a joint charge of false imprisonment.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby told the court the woman had become separated from a friend after a night out in the early hours, her phone was out of battery, no taxis were at ranks and she had hoped the car she approached may be an unlicensed cab.

Mr Cleasby said: "Had she been sober, she would, of course, have had second thoughts about approaching this vehicle but she was affected by alcohol and wasn't thinking straight.

Also read: Woman relives "rape ordeal" at hands of Sunderland pair

"The prosecution say she was in a particularly vulnerable state and the defendants, who were the occupants of the silver vehicle, would have recognised her vulnerability immediately.

"It is the prosecution case that those defendants had, in fact, parked at that location in order to target drunk and vulnerable women, in order to take advantage of their vulnerability and commit sexual offences upon them."

The court heard once the woman was in the back of the two-door car, she was driven in the opposite direction of her home and quickly realised something was wrong.

Mr Cleasby said the men demanded more money than the woman had and she handed over her bag to them.

He added: "She thought to herself she was in trouble here. The situation she was in was dangerous.

"She was trapped in a car with no way to get out and the defendants had taken her in the opposite direction to her home."

Mr Cleasby said when she realised she had been driven to a derelict area, the woman "hugged her head to her knees".

During the alleged ordeal, during which she "tried to block out what was happening to her", the court heard she was ordered to "be a good woman" and told "you've got to do this".

When both men had finished, the jury was told, the woman was dragged out of the car.

Mr Cleasby added: "The defendants, both having raped her, left her on the ground and they drove off, leaving her in the secluded area, miles from her home."

The court heard the men kept the victim's handbag, which they "callously" discarded.

The woman knocked on a number of doors before one was answered and she told the occupant: "I've just been raped by two Asians, they've put me out of the car and stolen my bag with everything in it."

During police interviews, the men claimed the woman had offered to do sexual acts in return for being taken home.

The trial continues.