Lancashire

Preston gang rape men not significant risk: Appeal Court

Two men who laughed as they took part in a gang rape in Preston do not pose a significant risk to women, three senior judges have ruled.

Rezgar Nouri, 27, of Preston, Lancashire, and Mohammed Ibrahim, 24, of north-west London, admitted raping a woman in Preston in June 2011.

The sentencing judge said they posed a risk and gave them indeterminate sentences for public protection.

Judges at The Court of Appeal have now changed these to 12-year terms.

The three appeal court judges said there was "insufficient evidence" the men posed a "significant risk" to women.

'Ignored her'

Nouri and Ibrahim, of Aeroville, had both admitted rape during a hearing at Preston Crown Court in November 2011.

Mr Justice Hamblen said that before "imprisonment for the public protection" could be imposed, courts had to be satisfied that there was a "significant risk" to the public of serious harm through the "commission of further specified offences".

He added: "There was insufficient evidence to justify the finding of dangerousness made and an imprisonment for public protection should not therefore have been imposed."

Their 24-year-old victim was attacked in Preston in June 2011.

The Court of Appeal was told that she became separated from friends - when she was "quite drunk" - in the early hours after visiting a number of bars and clubs.

She then met Nouri, Ibrahim and a third man in the town centre and went to Nouri's nearby flat with them.

Her next recollection was of waking up naked with the three men nearby. Judges were told all three had raped her.

'Callous abuse'

"She constantly told them she did not want to have intercourse with them but they ignored her," said Mr Justice Hamblen, in a written ruling after an appeal court hearing in London.

"Both men were laughing.

"She was effectively gang raped by the defendants and another."

The woman was found in a "very distressed state" shortly after she left the flat and police were called.

Judge Hamblen said: "These were very serious offences that demonstrated a callous abuse of a vulnerable victim.

"However there was little evidence to support the conclusion that there was significant risk of like offending."

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