A MAN has been jailed after he was found guilty of raping a woman in Liverpool city centre.

Samir Al Tawel, 27 years, from Oldham was found guilty of two counts of rape and theft by a trial by jury at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, March 8.

The court heard that in March last year it was reported that a woman in her 20s was raped by a man in Temple Lane.

Following an extensive investigation, detectives arrested and charged Al Tawel with the offences and he was remanded into custody.

On Monday, March 11 Al Tawel was sentenced to 12 years in prison and subject to sexual offender notification requirements for life. 

In a statement read out in court the victim, who can't be named for legal reasons, said: “Every single way that it could have affected me it has, physically, mentally, emotionally and it has affected my quality of life immensely.

“I have had to undergo counselling to find the inner strength in me to keep going. 

“I have cried, screamed, shouted and gone through every emotion possible trying to cope with what you did to me.

“I haven’t been able to bring myself to tell my family, even my own mother doesn’t know as I  know it will break her. I haven’t told my sisters either, we are usually a close-knit family but I just can’t bring myself to tell them.”

Detective Constable Becky Robinson, who led the investigation, said: “Following a lengthy investigation and despite the evidence against him, Al Tawel put the victim through the trauma of a trial.

“I would like to praise the courage and dignity shown by the victim throughout the investigation and court proceedings. Today’s results shows that violence against women and girls will simply not be tolerated and we will work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice. 

“We are committed to protecting victims of sexual offences, and anyone who reports an incident to us will be safeguarded and supported throughout the investigation by Specially Trained Officers and Sexual Violence Advocates who will provide all the relevant support. 

“Anyone that has been a victim of a sexual offence, is concerned for the safety of someone they know or suspects someone to be engaging in this criminal activity, should come forward and speak to us. 

“We have a team of dedicated staff who will expertly and compassionately deal with your reports and we will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

“We take all such reports extremely seriously, and work with partner organisations such as Victim care Support Service and RASA who are there to support victims if this crime.”

To report a sexual offence call 101 where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers or you can pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

If you’ve been affected by sexual violence of any kind, support is available through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities.

In Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.