Man found guilty of university rape
- Credit: Archant
A Colchester man who raped an Essex university student has been warned he faces a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced next week.
Before Ipswich Crown Court was Sultan Mohammed, 24, of Almond Way, Colchester, who denied raping the woman on October 3 last year.
Judge David Pugh adjourned sentence until Wednesday (April 17) and warned Mohammed that he is facing a lengthy custodial sentence.
The University of Essex has welcomed the conviction, adding that the university has a zero tolerance policy on such incidents.
During the five day trial the court heard that the student woke up to find Mohammed having sex with her and initially “froze” before pushing him off.
Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, claimed Mohammed had been prowling around the Colchester campus in the early hours of the morning and had “probably been looking for some sort of sexual encounter.”
He said Mohammed had come across an insecure door to student accommodation and entered the unlocked room where the student was asleep and started having sex with her.
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After leaving the woman’s room Mohammed, who wasn’t a student at the university, was allegedly seen on CCTV trying other doors and windows on the campus.
He was interviewed by police after his handprint was found on a window he had tried to open.
Giving evidence, Mohammed claimed the woman had invited him into her room and they had flirted with each other.
“It was an instant attraction,” he said.
Mohammed, who told the court he had played football for Colchester United, said he had been to a party on the university campus and had then wandered around the student accommodation looking for an “after party” or “drink-in”.
He claimed he had entered the alleged victim’s accommodation block through an open communal door and had knocked on a door after hearing music.
He claimed the door was opened by the victim who suggested they had their own drink-in.
He said they had talked and flirted before having sex on her bed.
He claimed that during sex she had made him feel uneasy by asking his name several times and he had said: “I think we should stop.”
He said that after leaving the woman’s room he had continued wandering around the site looking for a “drink-in”.
He denied raping the student by having sex with her while she was asleep.
Following Mohammed’s conviction, university registrar and secretary Bryn Morris said: “This was a devastating incident which left our community in shock.
“Incidents of this kind are extremely rare and we give the highest priority to the safety and welfare of our students and work extremely hard to make the campus a safe and supportive environment.
“In response to this terrible incident we took urgent action to further enhance our security arrangements and took steps to make sure our campuses felt safer at night.
“We’ve worked closely with our Students’ Union to support our students in looking out for the safety and wellbeing of themselves and each other.
“Because we want to ensure that we can respond to student concerns quickly, we’ve reminded our student community of the support open to them through our 24-hour support helpline for students and staff.
“We operate a zero tolerance policy on sexual violence, harassment and hate crime and have a dedicated Report and Support platform where staff, students and visitors can make a report either anonymously – or to receive support from an adviser.
“The University has taken substantial action as a result of this incident to further enhance the safety and security arrangements in place at each of our three campuses.”