[A] predatory rapist who attacked a teenage girl as she walked through a Newcastle park has been jailed for 15-and-a-half years.
Aftab Ahmed, 31, is today behind bars after pleading guilty to the rape in Nun’s Moor Park on the evening of March 28 this year.
Newcastle Crown Court was told how his 17-year-old victim, who he did not know, had been walking home when she was attacked.
He dragged her into some bushes before he went on to rape her. He eventually stopped the sustained assault and the victim was able to escape and call police.
Detectives launched an investigation and were eventually able to identify Ahmed as the prime suspect after he was identified him from a description of clothing worn during the attack.
He was arrested three days after the attack and police seized electronic equipment from his Fenham home – less than a mile from the scene of his crime.
They were shocked to find he had searched the words “rape” and “abduct” on the internet in the days before the incident.
Aftab, of Wingrove Gardens, Fenham, was charged with two counts of rape and later admitted the offences during a plea hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.
Now he has been jailed for 15-and-a-half years following which the senior investigating officer praised the “immense bravery and courage” of the victim.
Detective Chief Inspector Shelley Hudson, of Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, said: “This man is a dangerous offender who has clearly spent time planning the attack.
“He has carried out some disturbing searches on the internet before going to the park that night with the intention of carrying out a sexual assault.
“What followed is truly horrific and no person should have to go through what that teenage girl was made to go through.
“This has been a violent and sustained sexual assault and she will have to live with the emotional trauma of that night for the rest of her life.
“She has shown immense bravery and courage throughout this case and thanks to her we have able to put a dangerous man behind bars.
“Hopefully now she can start to re-build her life but she will have the support of specialist police officers for as long as she needs.
“I want to thank her and her family because without their evidence we would not have been able to take this despicable offender off the streets.”
A victim impact statement from the 17-year-old was read out in court at the sentencing hearing.
In the statement, she said: “When I was lying in bed I would be constantly thinking about what had happened and I knew that when I woke up that would be the first thing on my mind.
“I am sick of having this going through my mind, I don’t know when these thoughts will go away. I’m so worried that I’m going to be re-living this incident for the rest of my life.
“I am trying my hardest to get on with my life but I do feel like I have lost my independence. I just want things to be the same as they were before this happened.”