Rapist is caught after eight years on the run in Europe

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Rapist is caught after eight years on the run in Europe

A rapist who fled court during a lunch break in his trial has been caught after eight years on the run when he was recognised by German police in a Cr

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A rapist who fled court during a lunch break in his trial has been caught after eight years on the run when he was recognised by German police in a Crimewatch appeal.

Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali, 36, who used to be a barber, fled Hove Crown Court during his trial for rape and sexual assault in 2014 before he disappeared into Europe.

But he was spotted in Germany before being extradited to France where he was jailed for one year for sexual assault in a different incident. Ali was then sent to Britain, where he has now been imprisoned for seven years at Lewes Crown Court.

In 2014, Ali was convicted at Hove Crown Court in his absence of rape, attempted rape, assault by penetration and two counts of sexual assault committed one year earlier in 2013 against a 33-year-old man in Hastings who was known to him.

During that trial, Ali had been granted bail which allowed him to leave the dock during the lunch break as long as he did not leave the court. But during the judge’s summing up, Ali fled and disappeared, leaving the jury to convict him in his absence.

Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali was previously a barber and lived in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali was previously a barber and lived in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali was previously a barber and lived in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

A warrant was issued for Ali’s arrest and an appeal to trace him was issued by Sussex Police. Later his case was featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch ‘Most Wanted’ appeal.

Ali – who used to live in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex – had been arrested in Regensburg in Germany and while under investigation for offences there, an officer from the German Police recognised him from the Crimewatch photographs.

The officer then contacted Sussex Police and told them Ali was in their custody, but he was then extradited to France for offences he had committed there before a European Arrest Warrant could be executed.

Following jail time in France, he was arrested there and extradited back to the UK. On his return back to the UK, Ali appeared at Lewes Crown Court.

In 2014, Ali was convicted at Hove Crown Court in his absence after he fled the court

In 2014, Ali was convicted at Hove Crown Court in his absence after he fled the court

In 2014, Ali was convicted at Hove Crown Court in his absence after he fled the court

At that hearing he was sentenced to seven years in prison, plus a further three years on an extended licence. An extended licence means he will be subject to monitoring and is put in place to further protect the public from dangerous offenders.

He was also sentenced to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life, which will restrict his access to children under the age of 16. This is to reflect his risk to young people following his conviction in France.

Sussex Police investigator Julian Stokes said: ‘Admiration has to be given to the courageous victim, who gave evidence at the trial in 2014 and who has had to wait for more than eight years for justice to be served following Ali’s sentencing.

‘This demonstrates that Sussex Police will go to extraordinary lengths to bring dangerous offenders such as Ali back to the UK to face justice.’

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