Woman thought she might die during rape ordeal

Muhammad Rashid. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Muhammad Rashid. PIC: Norfolk Police. - Credit: Archant

A woman thought she might die after a man covered her mouth and nose while he raped her in her own home.

Muhammad Rashid, 26, got into the woman’s home in the middle of the night and locked the doors before raping her in the early hours of the morning.

Norwich Crown Court heard the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, woke to find Rashid, who had a knife with him, trying to have sex with her.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, described the victim as “shell shocked” and said she struggled with Rashid.

The court heard Rashid had his hands over her mouth and nose “preventing her from breathing” to the extent that she thought she might die.

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Rashid denied rape in the early hours of July 29 last year but was found guilty by a jury following a trial in January.

Before Rashid, of Clifton Street, Norwich, was sentenced on Monday (April 6) the victim bravely detailed the devastating impact the offence has had via videolink. She said: “Every time I close my eyes I’m forced back to the moment when I’m screaming for help. I just remember thinking ‘I can’t breathe because his hands were around my mouth and nose - I genuinely thought I was going to die.”

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“Thinking back, I rather wish I was dead because I wouldn’t be suffering still as I am now.”

She said she kept getting flashbacks and no longer feels safe in her own home or even going out to put the bins out.

She added: “This is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I wake up each day wishing I didn’t have to face another.”

Jailing Rashid for a total of nine years Judge Anthony Bate, who conducted the hearing via Skype following the coronavirus lockdown, said the victim spoke powerfully of the “enduring impact of this violation upon her”.

John Morgans, for Rashid, said this had been his first sexual offence. He said Rashid was lacking in maturity but understood that he “faces a lengthy period in custody”.

Rashid was also made the subject of an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly.

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