Published On: Mon, Dec 1st, 2014 on 12:54 pm

Convicted rapist from Bradford who fled UK arrested in Italy

Wakar Akhtar Rapist

A convicted rapist from Bradford who went on the run during his trial has been caught and arrested in Italy.

Wakar Akhtar, 21, who was sentenced to 17 years in his absence at Bradford Crown Court in November, was arrested in Brescia by the Italian authorities over the weekend.

Akhtar, of Hudson Avenue, Bradford, was found guilty of raping a woman in Great Horton Park, along with co-defendants Tamseel Virk, Azad Raja and Najim Ul-Saeed, who were all given jail terms of 17 years for their part in the conspiracy.

The incident took place in May, when a teacher passed out after drinking at a birthday celebration before she came round to find one of her abusers having sex with her.

She was dropped off near their home and raped on a bench while she was unconscious.

Extradition proceedings against Akhtar are expected to begin in Italy today.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Snow, of Protective Services (Homicide and Major Enquiry Team), said: “I would like to praise the efforts of the National Crime Agency, Interpol and the Italian authorities, who carried out significant work with ourselves to locate Akhtar, who was found to be staying with friends in the Brescia region.

“We hope the extradition proceedings will be completed quickly, so he can be brought back to the UK and face sentence for the despicable crime he was found guilty of.”

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