Man convicted of raping woman in car

The victim was in court on Friday to hear the verdict.

An Algerian Muslim has been unanimously convicted of raping a woman just hours before the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

Friday, 16 November 2012
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The Belfast Crown Court jury of seven men and five women deliberated for just under three hours before returning with their unanimous guilty verdicts against Nahab Toufik, convicting the 39-year-old of two counts of rape and two charges of sexual assault.

Toufik, who was acquitted of falsely imprisoning the lady, remained impassive in the dock as the jury's damning verdicts were translated into Arabic for him.

His victim sat weeping at the back of the court during Friday's proceedings.

Toufik, with an address on the South Circular Road in Dublin, was remanded into custody and will be sentenced next month once pre-sentence probation reports as well as a victim impact statement have been compiled.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC told the convicted rapist he would now be subject to the police sex offenders register.

During the trial which began last week, the jury heard how Toufik met his 33-year-old victim in Olly's nightclub in the city centre on 31 July last year and offered her a lift at the end of the night.

However instead he drove them to a quiet side street just off Peter's Hill and launched his sex attack.

Grabbing her by the neck Toufik forced his victim to perform a sex act on him, despite the fact that she was kicking and screaming. He then reclined her seat and climbed on top of her to rape her.

The jury heard that at one stage, the victim wet herself and eventually managed to scramble out of the car, summoning help from a stranger's door.

Toufik gave evidence on his own behalf, labelling the evidence against him as "nonsense" and his victim a "liar".

The Algerian, who claimed he was a proud Muslim, claimed his victim had instigated all the sexual activities between them and that everything which happened had been consensual.

He denied suggestions put to him that knowing the holy month of Ramadan was starting on 1 August during which Muslims are banned from engaging in sexual activities, he went out that night to find a girl to have sex with "whether she wanted to or not".

When Toufik was arrested and his car seized, police found evidence of urine on his car seat and intimate swabs from his victim uncovered his DNA.