Asylum seeker who raped 17-year-old student in a cemetery replies ‘Yes, I did that. Why not?’ as he is jailed for 16 years for attacking her and another woman five months apart
- Sexual predator Ishaq Al-Noor, 21, who came to UK as a refugee three years ago
- Raped student by cornering her on quiet street and dragging her into cemetery
- Al-Noor then tried again on another woman six months later but she escaped
- Asylum seeker admitted rape and attempted rape saying: ‘Guilty. Yes – why not?’
Ishaq Al-Noor, 21, who came to the UK as a refugee three years ago, carried out ‘almost identical’ attacks on the women in June and November last year
A Sudanese asylum seeker who raped a student and then tried to rape a mother in the same cemetery has been jailed for 16 years after admitting the crimes saying: ‘Guilty. Yes – why not?’.
Sexual predator Ishaq Al-Noor, 21, who came to the UK as a refugee three years ago, carried out ‘almost identical’ attacks on the women in June and November last year.
Al-Noor lay in wait late at night for both victims to cross his path before dragging them into the same graveyard on Spring Bank in Hull, East Yorkshire.
When the rape charge was put to him, Al-Noor, through his interpreter, told Hull Crown Court: ‘Guilty. Yes, I did that. Why not?’
He then replied ‘Yes, guilty’ to the attempted rape.
He will be deported after serving his jail term.
In their victim statements, read on their behalf by prosecutor John Thackray , the student, who was just 17 at the time, said: ‘When he assaulted me he might as well have taken my future, my sense of self, my security, and stomped on it.
‘It shattered my parents’ perspective of their little girl, something no parent should have to go through.
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‘The guilt is still with me 12 months later. The horror in my mum’s voice when she asked me through the phone ‘Has somebody hurt you?’ – it broke my heart. Having to sit there and recite the entire assault to a police officer in front of my parents turned me inside out.
‘I have always been a high-achieving student. I had ambition; I knew exactly where my future was headed for.’
Al-Noor would wait by this Hull cemetery, cornering two women then dragging them into the woods. One young woman was raped and a mother fought him off – but both say their lives have been devastated
But she said when she resumed her studies, her attendance and focus dropped. She said she now feels paranoia and guilt and suffers sleep paralysis. ‘Long days and longer nights lead to self-hate’, she said, and she started to ‘really despise myself’.
‘I hated myself with an intensity that scares me even now,’ she said. ‘I write letters about depression and suicide and leave them out in my room in the hope my parents would find it and see it as crying for help and get me some help.’
She said she now feels anxious around people she had previously been comfortable with. ‘I’ve given up for myself completely,’ she said. ‘For a long time I was paranoid I’d run into him.’
‘It wasn’t something I did. I didn’t give consent. I didn’t even give him a reason. I made it very clear I didn’t want intercourse. I said ‘No’. Through his actions he conveyed the message my ‘No’ was not important, and my body and soul were not worth the value that every human being deserves. My body was violated.’
Her mother described her before the rape as ‘free-spirited, open-minded, kind, polite, compassionate’, and ‘beautiful inside and out’. She said: ‘My free-spirited daughter is now vulnerable. She feels vulnerable but still won’t talk about it with anybody.’
The woman Al-Noor tried to rape said 2018 was going to be ‘my year’, as she and her partner were due to move into a new house, celebrate family milestones, and have a ‘fresh start’.
Instead, she is now dealing with the impact of Al-Noor’s attack, and said she had tried to take her own life in the aftermath. She attended court with her partner to see Al-Noor jailed.
She called the attack ‘vicious’ and ‘the closest I have been to being murdered. I don’t know how I managed to fight with him. I was intoxicated, two minutes away from safety, shouting and screaming whilst he took me off my feet.
‘I was screaming ‘No! Please stop! No!’ I thought I was going to be stabbed. He threw me to the ground and dragged me to the cemetery. He didn’t say anything in the graveyard. He just forced himself on me.’
She said she felt ‘worthless’ and ‘disgusting’, and thinking ‘If only I hadn’t gone out drinking. If only this, if only that.’
Sentencing Al-Noor, Judge Simon Jack said of the victims: ‘They should be very proud of themselves. We in the courts know that it is a real ordeal to go through the process of complaining about rape, and to face the prospect of having to give evidence before a group of strangers.
‘But without women who have the courage to do that we would be unable to bring people like you to justice. The two women who have complained can have the satisfaction of knowing that they have protected others from you.’
Al-Noor, of Pendrill Street, west Hull, needed the services of one of the few interpreters in the UK who could speak his particular Sudanese dialect.
Claire Holmes, for Al-Noor, said: ‘This defendant came to the UK as an asylum seeker three years ago to work.
In a statement after the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Craig Nicholson, of Humberside Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: ‘The victims in this case have shown immense bravery in coming forward to report these offences to us.’
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