Repeat offender sentenced to life for rape of girl he picked up from Watford club (From Watford Observer)
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Repeat offender, Arshad Arif, sentenced to life for rape of girl he picked up from Oceana Watford
A "dangerous predatory offender" was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the rape of a 17-year-old girl whom he picked up from outside Oceana in Watford town centre last November.
Arshad Arif, aged 28, of Belfast Avenue, Slough, was found guilty on May 30 of two counts of rape following a two week trial at Reading Crown Court.
He had previously been imprisoned in 2004 after raping another 17-year-old girl.
At around 3am on November 25 last year, Arif got talking to the victim outside Oceana. The victim had become separated from her friends, who had her belongings.
Arif guided the victim to a nearby taxi and instead of taking her home he took her to a park where he raped her twice. The victim managed to get away from Arif before calling for help from members of the public who called the police.
At around 3.15am that night the girl called her parents on Arif’s phone. Within minutes her mother was on her way to Oceana nightclub.
When she found her daughter was not there, she raised the alarm with the club and police, and, frantic with worry, even began to search the area for the girl’s body.
During the trial, jury members heard that in 2004 Arif had also approached another drunken 17-year-old in the early morning, under the pretence of taking her home and raped her in a flat. He admitted this earlier crime and in 2006 was sentenced to five years in jail.
He had been out of prison for almost two years when he decided to carry out his latest attack. Det Sgt Lucy Deane, investigating officer, said: "On behalf of the victim and her family, we are delighted the jury has reached this verdict.
"This man is a dangerous predatory offender who needs to be locked up to keep him away from young women who find themselves, through no fault of their own, in vulnerable situations.
"He denied the allegations against him, which forced the victim to relive the frightening experience all over again. I must praise the bravery that has been shown by the victim who gave evidence in court allowing justice to be done and resulting in this dangerous offender being removed from our streets."
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