Man raped woman in Scarborough after meeting her on a dating app

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An asylum seeker who raped a Scarborough woman he met through a dating app has been jailed for over two years.

Mokhtar Mahmoudi, 38, was on his first date with the woman after travelling to Scarborough from his home in Sheffield.

Mahmoudi and the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, met on the dating app Tango and arranged to meet on the east coast in April 2017, York Crown Court heard.

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“They (had) communicated online and exchanged photos, and arranged to meet,” said prosecutor Dan Cordey.

Mokhtar MahmoudiMokhtar Mahmoudi
Mokhtar Mahmoudi

“Mahmoudi travelled from his home in Sheffield to Scarborough where he met her at the train station. Arrangements were made for him to stay the night with her.”

The woman welcomed Mahmoudi into her flat where they watched TV and “cuddled on the sofa”.

“That led to consensual sex,” said Mr Cordey. “They spent the next few hours chatting, watching TV and eating a meal.”

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However, the victim “did not feel comfortable when talking with (Mahmoudi)” and eventually went to bed because she was tired.

“The defendant followed her into the bedroom and got into bed with her,” added Mr Cordey.

“Once in bed, it was clear he was still (wanting to have sex with her) and tried to initiate further sex. She said no and told him to stop.”

The woman fell asleep but woke 10 minutes later to find that Mahmoudi had removed her pyjama bottoms and underwear “and was having sex with her”.

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“She told him to get off (but) he ignored this and carried on as (the victim) tried to push him off,” said Mr Cordey.

Her ordeal lasted nearly half an hour before Mahmoudi eventually stopped.

Before falling asleep, the woman had placed her phone under her pillow with an MP3 recorder running. The MP3 recorded the incident which showed that she had repeatedly asked Mahmoudi to stop.

Following the rape, the victim, who was “upset and crying”, locked herself in the bathroom and told Mahmoudi to sleep in the spare room. She then locked herself inside her bedroom.

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Mahmoudi - an Iranian national who fled his native country to seek refuge in the UK - was arrested inside the flat about an hour later. He told officers he had had consensual sex with the woman but denied raping her.

The woman, who had existing emotional problems and serious mental-health issues, tried to take her own life following the rape, said Mr Cordey.

Mahmoudi, of Mount Street, Sheffield, was charged with rape which he ultimately admitted when the case reached the Crown Court. He appeared for sentence on Friday.

The victim said she had been psychologically “scarred” by her ordeal and that Mahmoudi had “taken part of my life”.

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Defence barrister Matthew Collins said it was a “tragic” incident for the victim “and (Mahmoudi) makes no bones about it”.

He said Mahmoudi “felt a great sense of shame and sadness” at what he had done.

Mr Collins claimed that the defendant, who speaks little English, was faced with a language barrier inside the flat and that he had a “cultural understanding to get over as well” in terms of consent.

“He now knows that he got it wrong – he got it terribly wrong,” added Mr Collins.

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He said Mahmoudi had fled Iran after being imprisoned and tortured “on political and religious grounds…prior to 2017”.

He added that because of the inevitable prison sentence for the rape, Mahmoudi ultimately faced deportation “and the very real possibility of execution” if he were forced to return to Iran.

Mahmoudi’s new girlfriend, a French citizen of Iranian descent, was standing by him and had enquired about the possibility of being able to marry him inside prison.

Judge Sean Morris told Mahmoudi he had not only violated the victim but “humiliated” her by “completely ignoring” her pleas to stop.

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“It was quite clear that (the victim) was happy to have consensual sex with you very quickly after meeting up (with you), as she is entitled to do,” said Mr Morris.

“But she is also entitled, when she says no, for that to be respected.”

Mahmoudi was jailed for two years and four months and placed on the sex-offenders’ register for 10 years.

The judge also made a lifetime restraining order which prohibits Mahmoudi from contacting the victim.