January 2019: Released and recently been spotted on Chester Road, Sunderland

August 2015

Sunderland park rapist jailed for eight years after attack on girl

syed

Rapist Syed Ali from Newcastle has been jailed for eight years for attacking a 16-year-old girl in a park.

Ali was on the prowl at a North East shopping centre when he got his eye on the teenager and her friend, the court heard.

He followed the girls at The Bridges shopping centre, in Sunderland, then forced them to a nearby park by threatening them with a knife.

The 47-year-old then raped the 16-year-old in bushes at Mowbray Park before degrading her further by giving her £10 afterwards.

He claimed the sex was consensual but a jury convicted him of rape after a trial in July.

Now Ali, of Avalon Walk, Newcastle, has been locked up for eight years and ordered to sign the sex offender register at Newcastle Crown Court.

Sentencing Ali, Judge Paul Sloan QC said it was clear he had targeted the youngster on December 8 last year.

The judge said: “It’s apparent you were showing an interest in schoolgirls in the shopping centre.

“You could be seen to be following two schoolgirls then when the complainant and her friend went by, in the opposite direction, you immediately did an about turn and started following them.”

The court heard Ali paid the girls attention, smiling and waving at them as he waited to pounce.

Judge Sloan said: “You were loitering, watching their movements and waiting your opportunity.”

When the girls left the shopping centre, Ali was waiting for them outside and beckoned them over, giving them a cigarette and engaging them in conversation.

The judge said: “You became aware of their ages and pretended you were in your 20s.

“You told the girls you had been looking at them because you found them attractive.

“You then informed the girls you had a knife and told them to follow you and that’s what they did.”

The girls followed Ali to a secluded spot in Mowbray Park among some trees. The 16-year-old was the grabbed and forced to the ground while Ali told her friend to keep lookout.

Judge Sloan said: “[The victim] was shaking and crying, telling you to stop and trying to get you off her while you raped her.

“Having raped her you then slipped £10 in her pocket, saying that was for sex then told the other girl to meet him the following week when you would give her £10 for sex.”

The court heard the victim was left traumatised by the attack.

Judge Sloan said: “She speaks of the fact this incident had and continues to have on her sleep and appetite.

“She feels unsafe if she leaves her house, she’s on medication and has had counselling.”

The judge added: “There was a degree of humiliation by you slipping her £10.

“You specifically targeted her because you considered her young and vulnerable.

“You plied her with cigarettes and pop and took her to a secluded location in the dark and had unprotected sexual intercourse, with the underlying threat that you had a knife.”

Ali was cleared of sexually assaulting the rape victim’s friend. The court heard he is a dad-of-seven who worked hard since moving to the UK in 1991 and his father is seriously ill in Bangladesh.

Shaun Routledge, defending, said: “He has brought up a family and worked hard.”