Man who fled to India found guilty of raping woman

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A 35-year-old man has been convicted of raping a woman in a car after offering to give her a lift home in Lowestoft.

A 35-year-old man has been convicted of raping a woman in a car after offering to give her a lift home in Lowestoft.

Ajay Rana, formerly of May Road, Lowestoft, was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court today, Monday, June 3, following a two-week trial.

The attack happened at around 5am on Saturday, December 9, 2017 as the victim - a woman aged in her 30s - walked along Oulton Road.

Rana pulled up alongside her and offered her a lift, saying it was cold and that he had just given a lift to two other people.

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She accepted his offer as he appeared to be genuine but at some time between 5am and 5.25am Rana stopped the car in Kimberley Road, where he raped the victim in the vehicle.

She then managed to get out of the car and ran to a nearby house, banging on the door to alert a woman inside, who said the alleged victim was "hysterical, freezing cold, crying and shaking".

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When giving evidence, Rana told the court that when he stopped his car the victim had asked him if he "wanted some fun".

He said that several days after having sex with the woman, he saw a news item about a woman being raped in Lowestoft and had bought a one-way ticket to India on December 13.

Within five days of the attack, Suffolk police had identified Rana as a suspect after a major investigation conducted.

A Ford Fiesta was traced and found to be registered to one of Rana's housemates. He was a named driver on the insurance and after attending Rana's home address, officers were able to match DNA from a pair of headphones with swabs taken from the victim however, Rana had already left the country.

Suffolk police began proceedings to extradite Rana from India and also issued a European Arrest Warrant, which would allow for him to be detained if he attempted to enter another European Union member state.

He was later detained under the European Arrest Warrant by Spanish Police in Bilbao on Monday, October 22 2018.

On hearing the verdict, Rana shouted "I did nothing wrong" before being taken away to custody where he will remain until he is sentenced on June 4.

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