Leeds & West Yorkshire

Two jailed for helping Bradford rapist flee to Italy

Wakar Akhtar Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Wakar Akhtar, 21, fled to Italy in November during his trial for raping a woman in a Bradford park

Two men have been jailed for helping a man flee the UK during his trial for raping a woman in West Yorkshire.

Mohammed Raja, of Hudson Crescent, and Raja Sarwar, of Tern Street, both Bradford, were each jailed for four years at Bradford Crown Court for perverting the course of justice.

They helped 21-year-old Wakar Akhtar escape to Italy in November.

West Yorkshire Police said Akhtar could begin a 17-year sentence for rape following an extradition hearing.

Akhtar, of Hudson Avenue, was arrested in northern Italy on 29 November and is due to have the extradition hearing at the High Court in Brescia on Wednesday.

West Yorkshire Police said he was sentenced in his absence for raping a woman at Cousen Road recreation ground in Bradford.

Three other men from Bradford - Tamseel Virk, 43, Azad Raja, 39, and Najim Ul-Saeed - were also given 17-year sentences for their part in the rape conspiracy.

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