Birmingham & Black Country

Snobs nightclub blasted by judge after student raped

Snobs nightclub Image copyright Google
Image caption The judge said Snobs' staff "fail to take responsibility" for the students who go drinking at the venue

A nightclub has been criticised by a judge after a drunk student was thrown out before being abducted and raped in the back of a transit van.

Snobs nightclub ejected the teenager after she collapsed in the Birmingham city centre venue.

She was lured into a van and driven to an industrial estate where she was raped and sexually assaulted.

Rapist Zaheer Abbas was jailed for 11 years and Sajad Hussain, a taxi marshal at the time, will serve six.

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Hussain denied having any involvement but was convicted by a jury of sexual assault after his DNA was found on the victim's clothing.

Judge Mary Stacy accused the nightclub of "abandoning" the young woman on the street.

"We have heard how the establishment carries on serving drinks to students who have had far more than enough to drink," she said.

"Then they fail to take responsibility for the students, they removed (her) after she collapsed inside.

"Snobs abandoned her on the street where she was prey to the likes of Abbas and Hussain."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Zaheer Abbas and Sajad Hussain were both jailed

Abbas, 30, of St Aidan's Walk and Hussain, 35 of Azalea Grove, both Birmingham, were convicted during separate trials at the city's Crown Court.

Both trials saw CCTV footage of the pair outside the club in Smallbrook Queensway in the early hours of February 20 last year.

After the victim was ejected by security staff at about 3:30 GMT, Abbas and Hussain, along with others, were seen leading her to Abbas's transit van.

She was then driven to the Nechells area of the city where she was attacked.

The ordeal lasted over an hour before they dropped her back at her student accommodation.

'Strength and courage'

Judge Stacy added: "The security officer is not personally to blame, it was a failure of Snobs itself to fail to put procedures in place, for example by arranging taxis to take them (students) home."

She vowed to contact colleges and universities warning them of Snobs' cheap drinks promotions targeting "young and vulnerable" students.

The judge also praised the young woman, saying: "I pay tribute to her strength and courage coming forward.

"Her bravery and dignity impressed everyone at court. Her actions resulted in you both being brought to justice."

Since the incident Hussain had stopped working as a taxi marshal but had found work with Cancer Research UK.

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