"You forced yourselves, one after the other, onto her."
Two restaurant workers have been jailed for a total of 23 years for raping a woman after abducting her when she offered to pay them to take her home.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the woman had lost her friend after a night out in Sunderland in 2016. Her phone battery had also died and she could not find a taxi to take her home.
She spotted Syed Ahmed and Najirul Miah parked outside a takeaway in a silver car. The woman believed they might be an unofficial taxi.
It was revealed they were loitering in Sunderland city centre looking to target women.
The woman offered them money for the journey to her home. Ahmed and Miah agreed and let her in the back of the vehicle.
However, they did not take her home. Instead, Ahmed drove to an isolated area and the two men took turns to rape her before abandoning her and driving off.
During the ordeal, the woman was told “you are going to have to do this”, “be a good woman” and “do as we tell you”.
Following their arrests, both men denied the offences which led to three trials taking place.
After the third trial, which ended in December 2019, both men, who continue to deny any wrongdoing, were convicted.
Ahmed was found guilty of rape, false imprisonment and theft of the victim’s belongings.
Miah was found guilty of rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment. He admitted to theft of her belongings.
The court heard that the victim now struggles to leave the house and has lost trust in people. In a statement, she said her decision to get into the car that night is something she will “regret for the rest of her life”.
The woman explained that the attack has “stolen her life”.
She added that the restaurant workers had an “easy choice” and could have taken her home then “no-one would be living the nightmare they are living now”.
Jodie Menzies, aged 22, of Sunderland, was Ahmed’s then-girlfriend. She admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.
This relates to several Facebook messages she sent the woman after the attack in an attempt to get her to drop the charges against Ahmed.
Menzies falsely claimed she was pregnant with Ahmed’s baby and said she needed him to look after her and the child.
The victim was left “scared and humiliated” by the contact and had second thoughts about pursuing her complaint.
Judge Sarah Mallett told the men: “You forced yourselves, one after the other, onto her.
“Both of you used some force against her during the course of the rapes, as a result of which she sustained, albeit minor, physical injuries.”
Judge Mallett said that being thrown out of the car added to the victim’s “humiliation”.
“This episode must have been utterly terrifying as well as humiliating.”
Judge Mallett said Ahmed had shown a “disturbing attitude and a sense of entitlement” about his crimes, which he “appears to believe is relatively normal”.
On the other hand, Miah showed more victim empathy.
David Callan, defending Ahmed, said: “He doesn’t agree with the verdict but he does accept it.”
Ahmed, who was 18 at the time, was from a respectable family and treated the court process respectfully while on bail.
Defending Miah was Paul Reid who said:
“This was an incident for which this young man feels deep remorse. Even on his account, he realises that this was appalling behaviour.”
Mr Reid said his client has “changed” since the offences and has a supportive family.
Paul Cross, for Menzies, said she is “not just vulnerable but exceptionally vulnerable.”
Menzies received a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She also received a six-month curfew and a five-year restraining order.
Ahmed, aged 22, of Sunderland, was jailed for 11 years. Miah, aged 22, of Sunderland, was jailed for 12 years.
Chronicle Live reported that both men were ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and were also given indefinite restraining orders.