Ex-karate world champion Abdu Shaher jailed for rape

Abdu Shaher Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Abdu Shaher was told by the judge he had brought "shame" on himself and his family

A former karate world champion has been jailed for raping a teenager.

Businessman Abdu Shaher pretended he wanted to show the 18-year-old one of his student flats and attacked her in one of the bedrooms.

The 61-year-old, of Acklam Road, Middlesbrough, was convicted of two counts of rape and two sexual assaults following a trial at Teesside Crown Court and jailed for five years.

He won gold at the 1988 karate world championships in Cairo.

In a statement read to the court, Shaher's victim said: "He is always there as part of a horrific incident in my life, I feel I will never be free of what he did to me.

"I have chosen not to talk about it to anyone and ultimately closed myself off emotionally."

She added seeing red sports cars like the one driven by the bar owner and martial arts teacher reminded her of the attack.

Nicholas Lumley QC, defending, said Shaher still claimed what happened was consensual.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC reduced the jail sentence from six-and-a-half years to five years after taking into account Shaher's age, lack of previous convictions and his sporting and business accomplishments.

Shaher, who is originally from Yemen, is appealing against his conviction, the court heard.

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