Cambridgeshire

Bassingbourn Libyan soldiers jailed for Cambridge women attacks

(Left to right) Mohammed Abdalsalam, Naji El Maarfi, Khaled El Azibi Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Mohammed Abdalsalam, Naji El Maarfi and Khaled El Azibi (left to right) were jailed for attacks in Cambridge

Three Libyan soldiers have been jailed for sexually assaulting women in Cambridge, it can be reported.

Khaled El Azibi, Ibrahim Naji El Maarfi and Mohammed Abdalsalam, based at Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, were jailed last Wednesday for the attacks.

Norwich Crown Court sentenced El Azibi, 19, to 12 months and El Maarfi, 21, and Abdalsalam, 28, each to 10 months.

Two other cadets were convicted at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday for raping a man on the same October night.

Cambridgeshire Police said the three men attacked three women on Corn Exchange Street in the early hours of 26 October.

It was after they left the barracks at Bassingbourn and stole bicycles to ride into Cambridge.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The women were attacked close to Cambridge Corn Exchange, police said

The first incident took place at just before 02:00 GMT when all three men were speaking to two women, aged 18 and 19, and El Maarfi sexually assaulted them both.

The second happened at 08:00 GMT when all three men attacked an 18-year-old woman on the same street.

El Azibi initially denied but later admitted two counts of sexual assault and the theft of a bicycle.

El Maarfi admitted three counts of sexual assault, one count of exposure and the theft of a bicycle.

Abdalsalam admitted two counts of sexual assault, one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and the theft of a bicycle.

All the defendants were put on the sex offenders' register for 10 years and made to pay a £100 surcharge.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud (left) and Ibrahim Abugtila (right) were found guilty by a jury
Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud and Ibrahim Abugtila were seen in Cambridge after the alleged attack

Their attacks can be reported following the conclusion of the trial of two Libyan cadets at Cambridge Crown Court.

It heard Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, raped a man for 38 minutes on Christ's Pieces the same night.

They were jailed for 12 years each on Friday.

The defendants were part of 300 trainees who arrived at Bassingbourn last June, where up to 2,000 were due to undergo basic infantry and junior command training to support the Libyan government.

Image caption The Ministry of Defence said cadets would not be allowed off the base unescorted, but rules were later relaxed

But the troops' behaviour in Cambridge and Bassingbourn led the training to be scrapped in November.

A Ministry of Defence [MoD] spokesman said it "condemned" the incidents and had made clear the training "will not be repeated at Bassingbourn".

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