Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rapist who attacked 'vulnerable' drunk student eight minutes after she got into his taxi flees to Turkey halfway through his trial

  • Sultan Amari picked up a student in Chester city centre on July 11, 2016 
  • 46-year-old took her to a house where he raped her twice in eight hours
  • The father-of-one fled to Turkey midway through giving his evidence
  • He emailed the court to say he wouldn't be returning to hear the verdict
Sultan Amari (pictured) was accused of raping a 'vulnerable' student after he picked her up in Chester city centre on July 11
Sultan Amari (pictured) was accused of raping a 'vulnerable' student after he picked her up in Chester city centre on July 11
A rapist who attacked a 'vulnerable' drunk student just eight minutes after she got into his taxi fled the country before he could be jailed.

Syrian-born Sultan Amari emailed Warrington Crown Court to say he wouldn't be returning to hear the verdict after disappearing part way through the trial.

Amari picked up the woman who was 'obviously' intoxicated in Chester city centre on July 11 this year. 

He took her to a house he owned in Sealand Road, Chester that was unfurnished except for a mattress. 

There, he raped her twice over a period of eight hours.

A jury of seven women and five men took just over six hours to find him guilty by majority of two counts of rape today.

But 46-year-old Amari, from Flint, fled to Turkey midway through giving his evidence.

The father-of-one, who was on bail, was due to continue being questioned by the prosecution on Monday.

He sent an early morning email to the court telling them he had no intention of returning.

Checks made on Amari's passport by police revealed that he boarded a plane on Sunday night and landed in Istanbul on Monday morning.

The case continued in his absence and the jury only received an explanation for his departure after they returned their verdicts.

During the six-day trial the jury heard that his victim initially had no memory of what had happened between leaving a bar in the city centre and waking up the following morning, naked and with no idea where she was.

She later had a flashback that she had woken up in a dark room, lying face-down on a mattress and unable to move her arms or open her eyes, with a man having sex with her.

The jury was played a tape of the victim's 999 call in which she tearfully said: 'I have been to a house with no furniture in it and my bag is gone and I don't know how I got there.

'I went for drinks after work last night and I can't remember anything else. I have no idea where I am.'

She added that nobody was in the house when she awoke without her clothes on, so she got dressed and left.

She walked down Sealand Road where she asked a male passer-by for help and he let her use his phone.

The court heard that the victim had drunk around two bottles of wine and one cocktail after meeting a friend for after-work drinks and that a trace of methadone was detected in a urine sample taken from her at 7.55am on July 12, despite her having never been prescribed the drug.

Amari, who was living at an address in Ellesmere Port at the time, insisted  that she had instigated sexual activity and had 'absolutely' consented.

Sentencing Amari to 11 years for each count of rape - to be served concurrently - Judge Tina Landale said: 'This was a gross breach of trust with a very vulnerable woman.

'CCTV showed that she was totally incapable of walking in a straight line and she was obviously drunk.

'The public are entitled to be protected by people like Mr Amari but instead he exploited and took advantage of her.'

The victim's personal impact statement was read to the court, in which she told of how her previous self-confidence has been destroyed and she now struggles with severe anxiety and stress.

She said her relationship with her mother has suffered as she feels she cannot be as open about her feelings for fear of upsetting her. 

She added that she will never get in a taxi ever again.

A Cheshire Constabulary spokesman said: 'Amari is currently wanted on warrant which was issued by the court.

'Anyone with information on Armari's whereabouts or who has seen him should contact Cheshire Police on 101. 

'Alternatively information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111.'

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