Gang celebrated rape 'like a goal'
Tuesday 23 August 2011
Four Russian men celebrated a gang rape like "professional footballers celebrating the scoring of a goal" a judge said today as he jailed them for a sickening attack.
The men used an iPhone to film and photograph the assault and showed it to friends at their exclusive south London college, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
Their victim, an 18-year-old fellow student, was intoxicated and had just vomited before the attack in January this year.
Today Norayr Davtyan, 22, was sentenced to ten years for two counts of rape, and Armen Simonyan, 19, to eight years for one count of rape.
Oleg Ivanov, 23, received eight years for one count of rape, and Gregory Melnikov, 23, for nine years for one count each of rape and attempted rape.
Judge Peter Murphy said that they had shown "a callous disregard for (the victim) as a human being and a callous disregard for her as anything other than an object".
Water polo player Davtyan was having a party in his dorm in January this year which the girl attended. He threatened the victim after her ordeal, saying she would be the one to suffer more shame if she reported the rape.
Judge Murphy told the court that the men had arrived from Russia "a mere number of days" before they staged the attack, and had no ties with the UK.
He said that the "pornographic" iPhone footage of the attack showed the men calling her a "f****** slag" and a "machine for f******".
Addressing the footage he said: "It records offences of a callous and disgusting nature. Certainly she (the victim) was, despite arguments made to the jury to the contrary, inert, not responding to stimuli. We can hear the defendants talking about (the victim) not to her, talking about what acts are going to be committed next."
The girl was drunk when she was raped but there was no evidence that she had been drugged, the court heard.
The judge continued: "(The victim) in my judgment certainly is heard to utter the word 'no' on a number of occasions. Whatever the case of her condition, it is clear as I think it must have been to the defendants that she was in no position to decide whether to consent or not to consent, or to resist what was going on."
He said that the men celebrated the attack, which was carried out over a number of hours "almost in the manner of professional footballers celebrating the scoring of a goal".
They also bragged that they would show the footage to anyone in Moscow, the court was told.
Their victim, a high flying Malaysian student, suffered "depression and feelings of worthlessness" in the wake of the horrifying assault, the judge said.
Detective Constable Peter Thompson said: "This was a long and difficult trial lasting some eight weeks. I had the utmost confidence that the jury would return the right verdict. A young college student's life has been destroyed by being subjected to an act of gang rape which was videoed by those responsible.
"I pay tribute to the victim who showed tremendous levels of bravery and courage from the moment this investigation started to when she gave evidence at court.
"The defendants denied the offence throughout but their lies have been uncovered and the correct decision has been reached. It is reassuring to know that these men will be locked up for many years to come.
"I hope that this result goes some way in helping the victim to come to terms with what was an extremely traumatic event."
Detective Inspector Warren Arter said the investigation was "complex", involving enhancing iPhone footage and using Russian translators.
He added: "I am grateful that the jury returned justice for the victim who spent three days giving evidence in this case. I hope this goes some way in helping her overcome what must have been an awful ordeal."
The four men will have to sign on to the sex offenders register for an indefinite period, and will serve half their sentences in custody.
Judge Murphy told the men they had treated their victim as an "object for their sexual gratification, having no real value except in terms of the pleasure they were going to get from her that evening".
Several members of the defendants' families were in court to see them being sentenced.
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