Ipswich: Man cleared of Cromer Road alleyway rape

The alleyway in Cromer Road The alleyway in Cromer Road

Friday, August 8, 2014
12:14 PM

A man accused of raping a 27-year-old woman after forcing her into an Ipswich alleyway has been found not guilty.

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A jury at Ipswich Crown Court cleared Mohammed Sabir yesterday following a four-day trial.

Sabir had denied rape.

The court had previously heard Sabir, of Westholme Road, Ipswich, felt pressured to have sex with the woman after she said he could have intercourse for three or four pounds.

The alleged assault occurred in Cromer Road next to the home of Sabir’s father at around 8.30pm on March 3.

Although the 21-year-old admitted lying to police about having sex with the woman in two interviews after his arrest, Sabir said it was because he had been scared he would go to prison.

He had also denied being in the alleyway. However, he told the court this was because his family would have frowned on him having sex in such a manner so close to their property.

Sabir had originally told police he had been watching television at his father’s house that evening when the alleged assault happened.

The jury heard Sabir eventually admitted having intercourse with the woman when confronted with DNA evidence before the start of his third police interview.

On the witness stand he conceded he had continued to lie during that interview and that he had previously been prosecuted for another sex assault four years ago.

Prosecutor Emma Nash claimed Sabir had also sought to give the impression to officers that he was a virgin. This was contested by the defence who said the context of his answer followed a question about whether he had ever been approached in the street by a woman.

Sabir had claimed he had already decided to tell police the truth about having consensual sex with the woman before his third interview began.

Through a Kurdish Sorani interpreter he said he had changed his mind because he had not forced the woman to have intercourse.

Sabir said: “I was scared and later on I said I didn’t force myself (on her). I wouldn’t do such a thing near my house. In our culture it’s not acceptable to do things near your own house.”

Miss Nash suggested to Sabir the real reason he changed his story was that he was confronted with the DNA evidence.

He replied: “I told the truth because nothing else was going through my mind, just the fact that I did not force myself (on her).”

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