October 2019

No appeal for pair found guilty of Roker Avenue rape after they tried to overturn convictions

Two men found guilty of raping a woman in a Sunderland flat have had their appeal applications refused.

Araz Mustafa Abdulla and Saheed Rasoolli sexually assaulted their victim in a bedroom at the property in Roker Avenue, Sunderland, in May 2018.

After being found guilty of rape by a jury, the pair were locked up for a combined total of 22 years last December.

The pair have now appealed to have their convictions overturned and appeared for a hearing at the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in London on Friday, November 1.

But their appeal applications were refused by Lord Justice Peregrine Simon during the Court of Appeal hearing.

A two-week trail took place at Newcastle Crown Court and heard that they each took a turn to rape their victim in the flat in Roker Avenue, which was part of a multi-occupancy home for asylum seekers, after luring her there from a bus stop.

The pair insisted in their defence that the woman had consented to what happened.

The court heard the victim “couldn’t get her breath” during the rape ordeals and was left with nail marks to her neck, throat and arms.

She fled to a nearby shop after the sex assaults before contacting police.

Last December, Judge Stephen Earl jailed Rasoolli for 12 years and jailed Abdulla for 10 years.

After their conviction, Abdulla, 23, and Rasoolli, 30, both from Sunderland, were branded as “dangerous offenders” by Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police.