Leeds & West Yorkshire

Rapist Mohammed Ibrar Aslam caught on plane about to take off

Mohammed Ibrar Aslam Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Mohammed Ibrar Aslam pleaded guilty to rape and was jailed for the historical offence

A rapist was arrested on board a plane just minutes before leaving the UK for Pakistan.

Mohammed Ibrar Aslam, 47, of Hartopp Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, raped the woman in Halifax after she had been on a night out in March 2001.

She was taken in a car to a house in Bradford where Aslam attacked her and forced her to perform a sex act.

Aslam admitted rape and was jailed for 11 years and three months at Leeds Crown Court.

Judge Simon Phillips told Aslam: "Effectively for every hour of every day for the past 18 years when she has been conscious the victim of your offence has been disastrously affected by your actions.

"The overwhelming expectation is that will remain in that situation for the foreseeable future."

The victim recalled lying face-down on a bed being raped, but had no idea where she was or who she was with.

The woman said after the ordeal that "she felt like a piece of meat being used".

Although she made a statement to police the crime remained undetected for almost two decades until police reviewed DNA samples and narrowed down a list of men they wanted to interview.

Officers wanted to trace Aslam and only after his arrest on the plane was his DNA sample confirmed as a match.

The prosecution said it could not say that Aslam was involved in abducting the woman off the street and taking her to a stranger's house "but he must have known what had happened".

West Yorkshire Police's Cold Case Review Team began a new inquiry in 2018 following advances in forensics science.

Following a large-scale investigation Aslam was identified as a potential suspect for a DNA test.

The court heard information about Aslam had been circulated via police and E-Border systems.

On 8 January this year police officers from the West Midlands found him on board an Emirates flight at Birmingham International Airport waiting to take off for Pakistan via Dubai.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said: "He was literally just moments away from leaving the jurisdiction."

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