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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Rapist who tried to flee country before trial sentenced to nine years in jail in Bradford Crown Court

Saqib Salam was caught trying to enter Romania with a false passport on the Hungarian border.

A rapist who absconded while on bail and was convicted in his absence has been returned to West Yorkshire after being detained in Hungary.

Saqib Salam was convicted of two counts of rape and one count of perverting the course of justice at Bradford Crown Court on 8 September.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison in his absence.

The rapes happened just over three years ago at an address in Bradford on 15 July 2018.

Days before his trial was due to start, Mr Salam, aged 33, of Balme Street, Bradford, fled the country while on bail for the offences.

A trial was held in his absence and he was convicted of both counts of rape as well as perverting the course of justice, an offence which related to the attempted deletion of CCTV footage.

Officers used specialised software to recover the CCTV footage which showed Mr Salam using force to push his victim into a room where he raped her.

Mr Salam was detained by Hungarian border authorities as he attempted to enter Romania with a false passport at the same time as his trial was taking place.

West Yorkshire Police liaised with overseas authorities to arrange for his return to the United Kingdom to serve his sentence. Detectives from the force collected him from Heathrow Airport on Friday before bringing him back to West Yorkshire.

DC Nick Ramsden of Bradford CID who oversaw the case, said: “Mr Salam is a dangerous individual who preyed on his victim’s vulnerability. He twice tried to avoid justice, by attempting to delete video evidence of his actions, and by leaving the country before his trial.”

“He has received the sentence he deserves and that has to be welcomed. I am also grateful to the Romanian and Hungarian authorities for the fact that he has been detained while attempting to evade the justice he deserves for carrying out these offences.”

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