Guilty of park rape at 5.30am

A man accused of raping a woman in a Halifax park has been found guilty.

Abbas Ali, 21, of Rose Terrace, Pellon, denied the offence in the early hours of September 15 last year in St Augustine’s Park, Hanson Lane, Pellon.

But the nine-man, three-woman jury found Ali guilty unanimously after five hours and 40 minutes following a two-day trial at Bradford Crown Court.

During the proceedings, the court heard how the woman had cut through the park on her way to a shop at around 5.30am.

As she walked through the park she spotted Ali staggering around, seemingly drunk.

She helped him get to a bench so he could sit down. But as he did, he grabbed her and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The woman dug her nails into Ali’s legs to try and secure DNA evidence. She managed to escape and run home to phone the police.

Ali denied wrong doing and claimed the woman had agreed to perform the act in return for a drag on the joint he was smoking.

He also told the court how he had lied to police after his arrest. He told them in interview that he had never seen the woman before, but admitted to the court that he did know her.

Judge Rodney Grant adjourned sentencing Ali until September 9 at Leeds Crown Court.