Restaurant worker guilty of park rape

A RESTAURANT worker has been found guilty of raping a woman during a horrific ordeal in an Essex park after she had rejected his advances in a nightclub.

James Hore

A RESTAURANT worker has been found guilty of raping a woman during a horrific ordeal in an Essex park after she had rejected his advances in a nightclub.

Jamoliddin Tulaganov was convicted of raping the woman in the early hours of January 15 as they walked through Central Park in Chelmsford.

Tulaganov and his friend and fellow Uzbekistan national Nuriddin Shakhabutdinov will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court today.

Shakhabutdinov had earlier pleaded guilty to raping the woman, who cannot be named, and also admitted separate charges of sexual assault and common assault relating to an incident last November.

After a three week trial Tulaganov, who worked at Strada Italian restaurant in Chelmsford, was found guilty by a majority verdict of raping the woman the pair had met at Chicago's nightclub in the town.

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No verdict was reached on a separate charge of anal rape but Tulaganov was also convicted of sexual assault relating to the November attack.

During the trial, the court was told that on a night out on January 14 the friends had tried to dance with two women but were turned down.

However, once outside the club one of the two women left in a taxi - leaving her friend alone with the men.

The court was told that she walked off with Shakhabutdinov and Tulaganov, both from Byron Road, Chelmsford, believing they would be going to get some food before going their separate ways.

But once in the park, Shakhabutdinov left his friend alone with the woman and Tulaganov became forceful with her.

In evidence, speaking through a translator, Tulaganov claimed the woman willingly had sex with him and accepted cash afterwards.

The court was told that the victim was raped by the 23-year-old who then gave her £40 cash, but the prosecution said it had been done in “the vain hope that it would stop her complaining about what he had done”.

Stephen Rose, prosecuting, said that when Shakhabutdinov then returned to the scene, the woman, who did not speak much English, tried to explain to him what had happened.

Mr Rose said: “Shakhabutdinov pulled her towards him and she went with him believing he would take her home, believing she would be safe.”

However, he then pushed her to the floor and raped her.

The victim was later spotted by a taxi driver after 4am looking “distressed, upset and dishevelled” as she tried desperately to flag-down a car in the middle of the road.

During the trial, the jury heard how another woman, who cannot be named, was also attacked by the same men during a night out in the town last November.

She was allegedly pushed up against a wall by 22-year-old Shakhabutdinov who tried to kiss her before punching her in the face when she spurned his advances.

The other man then apologised, saying she was “beautiful”, before kissing her but she managed to run away.

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