University rapist’s bid to appeal conviction rejected by court
PUBLISHED: 11:30 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:29 25 June 2020
A man jailed for eight years for raping a student has lost a bid to appeal his conviction.
Sultan Mohammed was found guilty last April of raping a student on the Colchester campus of the University of Essex.
Mohammed, now 26, entered the student’s room and raped her while she slept in October 2019.
The victim had been out with friends before returning to her room and going to sleep.
She woke to find a man, who claimed they had met that evening, having sex with her.
CCTV showed Mohammed, then of Almond Way, Colchester, who was not a student at the university, enter the halls via an insecure door at about 5am and bypassing another door which was left open.
Mohammed denied the offence, claiming had no reason to doubt the sex was consensual.
In February this year, he renewed an application for leave to appeal his conviction following refusal by a single judge.
Three Court of Appeal justices heard his case in March and gave their decision this week.
The appeal was made on two grounds; that the trial judge should have ordered a review by the prosecution of all messages on the victim’s phone, or that a full copy of all digital material should have been provided to the defence, and that the judge erred in refusing two applications to introduce evidence regarding the victim’s sexual history.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the first submission was misconceived, adding that police should only seek, or be requested to view records in pursuit of a reasonable line of enquiry.
In this instance, there was no proper basis for interrogating the complainant’s mobile telephone for the reasons suggested by the applicant, the court ruled.
It said the suggested individual inspection of 40,000 pages of messages was unrealistic and unnecessary, and that the case had amply demonstrated that search terms, if properly formulated with the assistance of the defence, appropriately identified potentially disclosable material.
The court also decided the judge was right to rule against the defence application regarding the victim’s sexual history, on the basis that it did not come within the ambit of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which provides protection to complainants in proceedings involving sex offences by restricting evidence or questions about previous sexual history.
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