Essex

Rapist jailed for University of Essex student attack

Sultan Mohammed Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Sultan Mohammed raped the woman in her student accommodation on 3 October

A "predatory" rapist who attacked a university student as she slept has been jailed for eight years.

Sultan Mohammed, 25, of Colchester, got into the woman's room at the University of Essex and was "fully naked" on top of her when she woke up, a court heard.

He had claimed he was invited in by the woman, but she said she had never seen him before the attack on 3 October.

Mohammed, who was not a student at the university, was found guilty of rape by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

During sentencing, it was heard the woman, who cannot be named, had felt "socially anxious" since the attack which happened during freshers' week.

Every time she went out it reminded her of that night and she did not have any close friends because she now felt "awkward" around people, the court was told.

During the five-day trial, CCTV footage showed Mohammed entering the halls of residence via an insecure door at about 05:00 BST.

'Inexplicable'

Sentencing Mohammed, Judge David Pugh described his actions as "predatory in nature".

The court was told Mohammed, who was 24 when he committed the offence, had four previous convictions, none of which were for sexual offences.

He had been a "promising footballer" who played for Colchester United as a junior and he graduated from university with a first class degree in international business management, it was heard.

"For those who know him, this is inexplicable," his defence barrister Soraya Lawrence said.

Mohammed, of Almond Way, who appeared via video link, was told he would serve at least half of his prison term.

He was also given a restraining order banning him from the university campus and contacting the victim.

Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis England & Wales, said: "Any experience of rape or sexual violence can be deeply traumatic and its impacts can be wide-ranging, and life-long."

Essex University said since the attack, work had taken place to ensure doors and windows were secure and more CCTV cameras had been installed across the campus.

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