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Man who kidnapped and raped ex-wife in Hackney dungeon jailed for 13 years

PUBLISHED: 16:06 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:24 23 June 2017

Haris Najeeb, of St Martin's Avenue, East Ham, was sentenced to 28 months' imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

Haris Najeeb, of St Martin's Avenue, East Ham, was sentenced to 28 months' imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A man who kidnapped his ex-wife, tied her up and raped her in a dungeon has been jailed for 13 years.

The sadistic thug, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday following a retrial.

The horrific ordeal unfolded at an address in Hackney in October 2014. The court heard the victim arranged to meet her ex so she could take her granddaughter out. Once at the venue, he sprayed her with mace, leaving her unconscious.

He then bound her hands, feet and mouth and carried her into a hidden office room where she was dropped into the dungeon.

The defendant then cut off her clothes and raped her twice before leaving. The woman was able to cut herself free and call 999. The 20 minute call was played during the trial and officers arrived to hear her screams from the hidden dungeon – which they accessed through a small hatch in the bottom of a wardrobe.

The man was found guilty of two counts of rape, kidnap and false imprisonment and was sentenced to a total of 13 years’ imprisonment.

The case was a rare “victimless” prosecution. The ex-wife had cooperated with detectives but then didn’t go ahead with her testimony. Police believe she was pressured to withdraw the allegations, but were allowed to go ahead with the case anyway.

Det Insp Neil Rawlinson of the Met’s sex offences squad, said: “It is important to note that the victim in this case was fully engaged throughout the police investigation but at the point of the original trial, felt unable to attend.

“Due to the overwhelming evidence gathered by my officers, which supported all aspects of the victims account, the CPS agreed to proceed with the trial without the victim - something which is extremely rare for rape. My officers worked tirelessly with forensic experts to gather and present the best evidence possible, with their tenacity being reflected in this outstanding outcome at court.

“Offenders often exert power and control to silence their victims but this sentence shows that we can give scared victims a voice and bring offenders to justice despite their perceived power. I would urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault to report it to police - we can provide specially trained officers to support victims and obtain the best evidence possible.”

The case was originally tried in July 2015, with the defendant being found guilty of all offences. The convictions were then quashed by the Court of Appeal in December and a retrial was ordered.

A second defendant, 53-year-old Steven Hill of East Bank, Stamford Hill, was found not guilty of rape and false imprisonment at the original trial.

The jury was unable to reach a decision on one charge of kidnap, for which he stood trial again. He was found not guilty yesterday.

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