London: An Indian man, who fled to India in 2017 after a sexual assault on a woman in the UK, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for rape.
Ajay Rana, 35, was found guilty of raping the woman in the back of his housemate’s car in the town of Lowestoft in Suffolk, eastern England, after offering her a lift December, 9, 2017. He then fled December 13 to India claiming he was visiting his ill mother. He was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court in Suffolk after being found guilty of rape following a two-week trial and was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
“The police investigation commenced following a calculated and sustained attack committed on an innocent victim, who has been left traumatised by the callous actions of this offender,” said detective chief superintendent Eamonn Bridger, the senior investigating officer for Suffolk Police.
“This was a complicated investigation which progressed with great haste despite the challenges presented by an offender who fled the country after the attack. The investigation team worked tirelessly over many months to ensure the individual did not escape justice and I am proud of the work they produced to reach the right outcome for the victim,” Bridger said.
By the time UK police identified him as a suspect in days after the attack, having traced the vehicle he was driving during the attack, Rana had fled to India.
Once he was traced to Spain, he was detained by the Spanish police in Bilbao last October on a European arrest warrant and was extradited to the UK in November last year after approval from the Spanish courts.
During the trial, it emerged that the victim – a woman aged in her 30s – was offered a lift by Rana, who said it was very cold and she accepted. He stopped the car further down and raped the victim in the vehicle. She then managed to get out of the car and ran away to a friend’s house nearby to get help, following which the police were called.
In a statement read to the court, the victim said the attack ‘will haunt me for the rest of my life’.
“I am so angry that he has done this to me, and (the case) brings it all flooding back and the emotions hit me like a roller coaster,” the victim further said.
Rana has been remanded in custody in the UK since November last year and will now serve a seven-year sentence at the end of which he is expected to be deported back to India.