A man has been jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of raping a teenage girl and sexually assaulting a young woman.
Abdullahi Sheik Nor, 20, of Harrow, London, denied a total of five offences – two counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault – but was found guilty by a jury following a trial at Bristol Crown Court last month.
In September last year an appeal was issued asking the public for help identifying a man officers wanted to talk to in connection with the rape and sexual assault of a teenage girl in Bristol.
Sheik Nor contacted officers from Sweden after seeing the appeal, identifying himself as the man in the image but denying any offences.
He was subsequently arrested on his return to the UK and had his DNA taken while in police custody.
An analysis of his DNA then linked Sheik Nor to another incident in Bristol the year before in which a woman in her 20s was also sexually assaulted.
Officers had recovered CCTV footage of the offender but at the time, had not identified him.
In the CCTV footage, Sheik Nor could be seen to following his victim, making efforts to stay out of sight, as she walked home alone after a night out with friends.
In statements read out in court Sheik Nor’s two victims described the impact his actions had on them.
One told how she experienced flashbacks and how her confidence had been hit, while the other said she no longer trusted anyone other than her family and had self-harmed as a result of what happened.
Both offences were investigated by detectives from Operation Bluestone – a team dedicated to investigating rape and serious sexual offences.
Sheik Nor was told he will serve a minimum of 10 years and will be indefinitely registered as a sex offender.
Temporary Detective Sergeant Paul Brown said: “Sheik Nor singled out his victims after recognising they were vulnerable.
“Neither of his victims consented but he refused to take no for an answer. He preyed on them and abused them for his own gratification.
“He believed he would get away with his crimes and believed he would evade justice by leaving the country.”
He added: “We never underestimate the bravery it takes for victims of sexual offences to stand up in court and give evidence at a trial and I’d like to praise both of the courageous victims in this case.
“It’s thanks to their support that we have been able to ensure a dangerous man is no longer on our streets, for which we are grateful.”
Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website or call 0117 342 6999.
You can also visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.