Bradford taxi driver and friends jailed for 68 years over rape attack on teacher

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A TAXI driver and his three friends have been jailed for a total of 68 years after preying on a young vulnerable teacher in a rape attack a judge blasted as “despicable” “callous” and “inhumane”.

Tamseel Virk, 42, Najeed U-Sajeed, 31, Wakar Akhtar, 21, and Azad Raja, 38, all from Bradford, were jailed for 17 years each for conspiring to rape the young woman during the evening of May 25 and early hours of May 26, after she was picked up by a taxi driver Virk.

The court heard that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday in Leeds and was intoxicated when she left.

When she came round, she found Raja was having sex with her, while Akhtar told her he had already had sex with her.

Today, Virk, U-Sajeed and Raja were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court. Akhtar was sentenced but fled the country after giving evidence and is now on the run, the court heard.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told the court that the evening had been a joyful occasion to begin with but the woman ended up “coming to her senses on a park bench in another city being raped”. Describing the victim’s experience as a nightmare, the judge told the three men in the dock: “This was totally despicable, it was utterly callous, it was a degree of inhuman behaviour hard, even for one such as myself inured to evil, to understand.”

During the two-week trial, the court heard that the teacher had drunk a lot, left the party without her bag and was later spotted wandering around Leeds train station.

At some point she had got in a taxi to travel to wherever she was staying but had got out again in a confused state, possibly regarding getting her bag back.

It was then, the court heard, that Virk spotted her as he drove along, “accosted her and secured her in the cab”, according to the judge.

Vick then drove her from Leeds to Bradford.