A Bangladeshi student has been jailed for seven and a half years for the rape of a schoolgirl following a trial which led to racial clashes in South Shields.
Ferdoush Hasan raped the vulnerable girl at his house in Beaufront Terrace, South Shields, last year.
The 22-year-old led the girl, who had drunk half a litre of vodka, to a room in another part of the house from her friends, where he forced himself on her and raped her.
Outside Newcastle Crown Court, members of the English Defence League (EDL) greeted the sentence with a mixture of cheer and disapointment.
The far-right group had gathered on the steps of the court on several occasions since the trial begun to call for the deportation of foreign criminals.
They claimed the case was an example of the grooming of young girls by gangs of Asian men and organised a march through the town in protest.
The procession in August ended in violence when the EDL and anti fascist protesters clashed.
By coincidence a member of the EDL, Craig Owens, was being sentenced by magistrates for his part in the clashes at exactly the same time as a judge was send Hasan to prison.
The English Defence League were barred from entering the crown court building at an earlier hearing after hurling verbal abuse at Hassan.
During the trial Julie Clemitson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was at his home address near the Chichester metro station in South Shields. The victim was out with her friends in South Shields.
“They had been drinking alcohol and they were affected by it when they entered the address with the defendant.
“The defendant approached her, started to kiss her and take her clothes off. Sexual intercourse took place despite her attempts to push him off. Sex took place without any form of contraception.
“At that point she didn’t make a complaint but she spoke to a friend and then a councillor at school.
“When the defendant was interviewed at the back end of 2012 he denied any girls of that age being in his home or any knowledge of the victim. He later said the sexual intercourse was consensual during the trial.”
Hasan was found guilty of rape last month after a five day trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
Hasan, Abu Sufian, 21, and Raabsan Khan, 19, all of Ocean Road, South Shields, were all found not guilty of a second joint charge of rape.
Tom Moran, defending Hasan, said: “He wasn’t aware that the girl was under 16. He will be serving in extremely difficult circumstances in a foreign country where he will be isolated. “Prison is supposed to be a punishment, it is supposed to be unpleasant. Imprisonment for Mr Hasan is going to be unpleasant and an unusually severe punishment.
“He came here just to study and planned to return to Bangladesh.
“He has no family here and soon he will have no friends here. His friends will be returning to resume their careers in Bangladesh.”
Judge Simon Hickey said: “I have to deal with you for a serious count of rape. You were 22 years of age at the time and the victim was only 14, a significant age difference.
“That young lady was taken down to another room and her clothes were taken off against her will.
“She was trying to kick you away, of course you continued to rape her and used no contraception at all in order to rape her.
“She couldn’t bring herself, like most victims, to speak out at that stage.
“She later spoke to a friend and then to a counsellor. That young lady was frightened she was pregnant and was worried about the consequences. She wasn’t.
“I take a view, having seen the victim of this case, that she appeared quite young and you would have been aware that she was a young girl.”
Judge Hickey sentenced Hasan, who came to the UK in January last year to study an HND in nautical science at South Tyneside College, to seven and a half years in prison.
Members of the EDL waiting for news outside said that he should have been jailed for life.
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