Pendle rapist drugged victims

Zulfiqar Asif
Zulfiqar Asif

A man has been handed a life sentence and must serve a minimum of eight years after being found guilty of drugging and raping a woman at addresses in Colne and Blackburn.

Zulfiqar Asif (38) of Halifax Road, Nelson, was jailed following a trial at Preston Crown Court.

The offences occurred between the end of 2014 and February this year, at two different addresses, where Asif administered drugs to knock the victim, aged in her 30s, unconscious before raping her.

On several occasions he recorded the abuse on his mobile phone, which was later seized and used in evidence during his trial.

Despite consistently denying his guilt, the jury found him guilty of one count of administering a noxious substance, three counts of rape and one count of controlling or coercive behaviour.

DC Melissa Chadwick, who led the investigation, said: “Asif is a dangerous individual who manipulated a vulnerable woman and abused her in the most horrific way.

“I am grateful to the jury for considering all the evidence and coming to the conclusion they did. A predatory sex offender has been taken off the streets and it will be at least eight years before he can even be considered for parole.

“I hope the fact Asif is now behind bars will enable the victim to move forward with her life.”