A BANGLADESHI man faces a minimum of six years behind bars after being found guilty of two sex attacks on the canalside in Burnley.
Illegal immigrant Nizam Ahmed (37), who was living in Arley Gardens, Burnley, at the time, was given an indeterminate sentence at Preston Crown Court and told he must serve at least six years and 83 days before being considered for parole.
He was found guilty of one offence of rape and a further offence of attempted rape at the end of a week-long trial last month.
Police launched an investigation after a 23-year-old woman reported being attacked and raped as she walked home along the canal bank off Colne Road between 10-30 p.m. and 11-30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28th. This was quickly linked to a similar offence from six weeks earlier, the attempted rape of an 18-year-old girl at the same spot near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Judge Cornwall, who said Ahmed will be automatically deported, told him: “What you did was brutal, determined and premeditated.”
Ahmed claimed both women, who had worked as prostitutes, consented to “business” with him and no force had been involved.
But the women gave evidence to say they had been grabbed before being subjected to sex attacks.
His first victim, the 18-year-old, had been asked for a cigarette before he placed an arm around her throat and mouth. “He held her so tightly she was unable to breathe. At one stage she thought he was going to kill her,” Miss Joanna Rodikis (prosecuting) told the court.
Ahmed told her “I want sex. I want sex.” But after five minutes he suddenly stopped, turned nice and asked for a cigarette.
His second victim was raped and Miss Rodikis said “He grabbed her when she went to scream. He grabbed her neck, trying to strangle her.
“He said he would have sex with her, whether she liked it or not.” In both instances, his DNA was recovered.
The defendant had come to this country in 2002, on a six months stay, looking for a better life.
Afterwards, he remained here, not claiming benefits, but doing restaurant work.
Ahmed told the jury he had thought there might be a problem with him having sex with his wife who was pregnant at the time. For that reason, he had decided to contact prostitutes.
He said, in the first instance, he and the woman had kissed, but they could not agree a price for sex, so they went their separate ways. He claimed, in the second incident, the woman accepted £5 for sex.
Det. Chief Insp. Andrea Barrow said: “These were cowardly, unprovoked attacks on these women and I would hope this sentence, and that fact he will be behind bars, will provide some closure for them at the end of what has been a traumatic and distressing experience.”