Lowestoft rapist who fled to India jailed for seven years

Ajay Rana Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Ajay Rana went on the run to India after attacking the woman

A rapist who went on the run to India after attacking a woman has been jailed for seven years.

Ajay Rana, 35, raped the woman in the back of his housemate's car in Lowestoft, Suffolk, after offering her a lift in December 2017.

He then took a "trophy photograph" and fled to India days later under the pretence of visiting his ill mother.

Rana was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court after being found guilty of rape following a two-week trial.

In a statement read to the court, the victim said the attack "will haunt me for the rest of my life".

She said she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, had begun self-harming and suffered regular flashbacks, despite receiving counselling.

"I am so angry that he has done this to me, and [the case] brings it all flooding back and the emotions hit me like a roller coaster," she said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Ajay Rana aped the woman on Kimberley Road in south Lowestoft

Rana, formerly of May Road, Lowestoft, had offered to drive the woman home as she walked along Oulton Road at about 05:00 GMT on 9 December 2017.

He told her he had already driven two other people because of the cold but stopped the car in Kimberley Road and raped her.

The woman, who was in her 30s, managed to get out and ran to a friend's house, where police were called.

Rana then took a photograph of the evidence of the attack on the passenger seat.

By the time police identified him as a suspect five days later, having traced the vehicle to his home, he had taken a flight to India.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued and he was detained by Spanish police in Bilbao on 22 October.

He was extradited to the UK on 12 November after approval from the Spanish courts.

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