LONDON: Two Libyan soldiers who were in Britain on a training course were sentenced to 12 years in jail on Friday after being found guilty of raping a drunken man after a night out.
A jury in Cambridge in eastern England found Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, guilty of rape, and aiding and abetting each other in raping the man in October last year.
The court was told that the pair had acted like “hunting dogs” in tracking down their victim, aged in his twenties.
“This was a truly horrendous crime and I hope today’s result will allow the victim some closure and to begin rebuilding his life,” police inspector Alan Page said outside court.
“These men deliberately targeted their victim because of his vulnerability that night, which they took advantage of to commit this callous crime.”
Prosecutor John Farmer said the guilty men had “picked off” their victim like a “wounded animal.”
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police that he had been raped by “three Arab guys.”
“They were horrendous, they weren’t human,” he added.
Jenny Hopkins, a regional chief prosecutor, urged male victims of rape to come forward in light of Friday’s decision.
“I hope today’s verdict might offer some victims the confidence they need to come forward,” she said.
Three other Libyan cadets were jailed on Wednesday for separate sexual assaults in Cambridge on the same night, but reporting restrictions were in place until the conclusion of the other trial.
Khaled El Azibi, 19, admitted to two counts of sexual assault, and was jailed for 12 months, while Naji El Maarfi, 21, was jailed for 10 months after admitting to three counts of sexual assault and one of exposure.
Mohammed Abdalsalam, 28, admitted two counts of sexual assault, one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and was also jailed for 10 months.
The men accosted teenage girls, attempted to kiss them and then assaulted them when they resisted.
Some 300 members of the troubled north African country’s armed forces were stationed at the Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire, eastern England, from July last year as part of a training programme, which was ended in November after the arrests.