A man who raped a woman in an East London park more than 23 years ago has been jailed.
Gulzar Hussain, aged 17 at the time, raped a 32-year-old office worker after tricking her into walking through King Edward Memorial Park in Shadwell on October 17, 1997.
Now 40, Hussain appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday (August 2) to be sentenced for a single count of rape.
The court heard that the victim had gone out with colleagues for drinks after work at the Cat and Canary pub in Canary Wharf on the evening of the attack.
She left the pub at around 7.30pm to take the DLR train towards Bank. The train terminated at Shadwell and she exited the station hoping to find a cab.
However, she was instead led into a park by Hussain and his school friend, who both then raped her.
At the time of the incident, a forensic investigation was unable to identify any suspects and the case was closed.
However, the case was later reopened in 2007 and a further forensic investigation led to Noor Hussein being arrested and convicted. Gulzar, though, remained unidentified.
In 2016, Noor Hussain gave the name of his accomplice to officials, who were finally able to track him down. Further DNA analysis could also now be attributed to Gulzar Hussain. He was arrested in January 2017 and later charged.
Gulzar Hussain, of Tower Hamlets, was convicted of rape on February 11 earlier this year.
He was jailed for 11 years and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely on Monday.
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His accomplice, Noor, pleaded guilty to rape in 2008 and was jailed for nine years at Southwark Crown Court.
Speaking after the conviction in February, Melissa Garner, from the CPS, said Gulzar Hussain had claimed to have been in Bangladesh at the time of the incident.
She said: Melissa Garner, from the CPS, said: “This was a terrifying attack on a lone woman by two strangers who were teenagers at the time. The victim has waited more than 20 years to get justice.
“During his initial police interview Gulzar Hussain claimed that he could not have been responsible for the rape because he had been in Bangladesh at the time; and he had not had his first sexual encounter until he was 20 years old. But the jury did not believe his lies.
“The prosecution was able to present strong witness evidence that led to the naming of Hussain, alongside the compelling breakthrough in science that allowed investigators to confirm the DNA match to the defendant.
“Sexual offences are some of the most traumatic and complex cases. I hope this conviction shows that the CPS is dedicated to securing justice for victims of sexual violence no matter how much time passes.”