December 2018

Man sentenced to over 37 years for exploiting teenagers

A man who “preyed” on vulnerable teenagers has been sentenced to more than 37 years imprisonment– after being found guilty of rape and drugs offences.

Omar Sharif, of Sunderland, was handed the sentence at Newcastle Crown Court (Wednesday) after being convicted of four charges of rape against three victims and one count of sexual assault as well as a number of drug offences.

A jury was told how Sharif – a student at the time – used the young vulnerable woman as “entertainment” at parties where he was also dealing drugs.

The victims were aged between 17 and 19.

Sharif, 24, admitted a number of drugs charges but denied allegations of sexual abuse between October 2015 and July 2016 and went on trial at Newcastle Crown Court in November.

Sharif was brought to justice under Operation Argon – a victim-focused investigation led by Northumbria Police’s specialist Safeguarding team aims to protect the most vulnerable in society.

Sharif, of Brunton Terrace, was found guilty of four charges of rape against three victims and one count of sexual assault. He was also found guilty of:

  • Three counts of supplying Class A drugs.

  • One charge of trying to conceal £2,000.

He pleaded guilty to:

  • Two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A and B drugs.

  • Two counts of possession of Class A drugs.

  • One count of supplying Class A drugs.

  • Three counts of perverting the course of justice.

  • One count of perjury.

For all of the offences he was sentenced to a combined total of 37 years and six months.

Sharif was found not guilty of two counts of rape against a 17-year-old.

Three other people were also convicted as part of the operation.

Milagros Simona Sanchez, 25, of Chester Road, Sunderland, previously admitted to allowing her property to be used for the supply of drugs and was given an 12 month community order.

Amer Sharif

Sharif’s brother Amer, 20, of Brunton Terrace, Sunderland, denied doing acts tending or intending to pervert the course of justice after being accused of helping to try to coerce a woman into making a false statement about one of the victims. He was found guilty at trial and was given a 12 months sentence, suspended for 18 months.

James Sykes

James Sykes, 22, Larchwood, Harraton, Washington, was sentenced to 12 months suspended for 12 months for concern in the supply of MDMA.