26 Oct 2009

Pair jailed for rape of NZ woman in London

7:23 pm on 26 October 2009

Two men have been jailed in Britain for raping a woman backpacker from New Zealand in a "sustained and brutal" attack in London.

The 21-year-old, who was in Britain on a working holiday, met her attackers as she travelled home on a night bus after partying with friends in August last year.

Ismail Acar and Callem Fearnehough, both 21, befriended her, offering her an unidentified drink, and she accompanied them to St James's Park near Buckingham Palace, where they took turns to rape her, Southwark Crown Court in London was told.

Acar, who admitted being the ringleader and raping and robbing the woman, was jailed for 13 years on Friday.

Fearnehough, who lives on the same housing estate in London as his accomplice, was jailed for 10 years after he was found guilty of two counts of rape and robbery.

A third man, Dimitri McKenzie-Saunders, was acquitted on all charges.

The victim told the court: "I can just remember crying and wailing 'please, please stop'."

She had tried to escape from her attackers, but was captured, before finally making a successful dash for freedom when she managed to run to a road and beg passers-by for help.

Sentencing the men, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "This was a sustained and brutal attack by two men on a frail young woman.

"She was in her own words screaming and wailing all the time and when she did run away she was caught and brought back by one or other of you."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said: "This traumatic experience has changed my life forever and changed the lives of my family and I feel bad about that."

She added: "I went from being someone outgoing and who enjoyed life to someone who found it difficult to cope being around strangers."