An Afghan former student, who raped two women sex workers in the same alleyway in Bradford’s red light district, has been told to expect a substantial prison sentence.

Ali Rezai was yesterday convicted by a jury at Bradford Crown Court of two charges of rape. The jury of seven women and five men took less than two hours to find him guilty, following a four-day trial.

Judge James Goss QC adjourned sentencing for inquiries to be made with the UK Border Agency about the status and future of Rezai in this country, and for proper inquiries to be made about his age. The court had heard the defendant was unsure of his date of birth but he was believed to be 20 years old.

Judge Goss told Rezai he had to assess “the risk that you present of causing serious harm, beyond that which is obvious from the circumstances in which you have been convicted.”

He added: “You can expect a substantial sentence of imprisonment.”

Rezai, of Duchy Drive, Heaton, Bradford, raped one sex worker on September 25 last year in an alleyway in Akram Road. He grabbed his victim, pushed her to the ground and kneeled on top of her with his arm across her throat, before sexually attacking her. DNA belonging to the defendant and his victim was found on condoms recovered from the scene.

The second attack was carried out at the same location on November 6. The victim agreed to perform a sex act, but Rezai said he wanted sex and pushed her to the ground.

Rezai denied to police ever having used a prostitute.

He showed no reaction as the guilty verdicts were brought in yesterday. There were cries of “yes” from friends and family of the victims in the public gallery, and one woman wept with relief at the verdicts.

Judge Goss said: “The sentence will clearly be of a length where there will be an automatic recommendation from the court that he be deported.”

  • Read the full story Wednesday's T&A