East Ham man raped woman with his friend in Wapping park 23 years ago

Gulzar Hussain

Gulzar Hussain will be sentenced on May 13 - Credit: CPS

An East Ham man has been convicted of the "terrifying" joint rape of a woman in King Edward Memorial Park more than 23 years ago.

Gulzar Hussain, 40, of Lathom Road, tricked a 32-year-old office worker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, into walking through the Wapping park on October 17, 1997.

He was convicted of rape on February 11, following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The victim had been drinking with colleagues at the Cat and Canary pub, in Canary Wharf, leaving at around 7.30pm to take a DLR train towards Bank.

The train terminated at Shadwell and she exited the station hoping to find a cab.

Instead, she was led into King Edward Memorial Park by Hussain, who was 17 and living in Tower Hamlets at the time of the attack, and his school friend, Noor Hussain, where they both raped her.

At the time of the attack, a forensic investigation was unable to identify any suspects so the case was closed.

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The case was later reopened in 2007 and a further forensic investigation led to Noor Hussain, then living in Shadwell Gardens, being arrested and convicted.

He pleaded guilty to rape in 2008 and was jailed for nine years at Southwark Crown Court.

In 2016, Noor Hussain provided the name of his accomplice, who was tracked down, with further DNA analysis able to identify Gulzar Hussain as the second rapist.

He was arrested in January 2017 and later charged.

Melissa Garner, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a terrifying attack on a lone woman by two strangers who were teenagers at the time. The victim has waited more than 20 years to get justice.

“During his initial police interview, Gulzar Hussain claimed that he could not have been responsible for the rape because he had been in Bangladesh at the time and he had not had his first sexual encounter until he was 20 years old. But the jury did not believe his lies.

“The prosecution was able to present strong witness evidence that led to the naming of Hussain, alongside the compelling breakthrough in science that allowed investigators to confirm the DNA match to the defendant."

Gulzar Hussain will be sentenced on May 13.