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6 June 2013, 19:02
Two men have been jailed for 15 years, leading a 14 year old boy to toilets at a Manchester department store and raping him.
A former intelligence officer in Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime has been jailed for 15 years along with a law firm worker for raping a teenage boy in the toilets of a department store in Manchester.
Abdelkader El-Janabi, 55, and Alex Wilson-Fletcher, 42, abducted their 14-year-old victim in the Arndale Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon last summer.
They marched him to the toilets of a nearby Debenhams store where the “sustained attack” on him took place.
Wilson-Fletcher, of Oldham Street, Manchester, and El-Janabi, of Artillery Court, Ardwick, Manchester, were convicted by a jury of two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault following a nine-day trial in April.
The pair were tracked down after images from CCTV were circulated around the UK by police.
Sentencing them at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Michael Leeming QC told them: “In all probability, what you did to him in his formative years will stay with him.
“Neither of you thought of that at the time. You were more concerned with your own sexual gratification.”
The judge heard the boy was heading home by himself in Manchester city centre on June 2 last year when he decided to use the toilets in the Arndale Centre, despite being wary of public conveniences.
This is where El-Janabi grabbed the teenager by the arm and led him out with Wilson-Fletcher following.
The court heard the boy was told: “Come with us. Do what we say. If you try to run we'll get you.”
The judge said: “(The victim) did not want to accompany either of you but he felt he had no choice.''
He said El-Janabi knew the Debenhams toilets well and had been caught loitering there in the past by shop staff who had ejected him from the store.
El-Janabi was the one who physically raped the teenager, the court was told, but Wilson-Fletcher was convicted of taking part in a joint enterprise by the jury.
Judge Leeming told Wilson-Fletcher he was ``at least a look-out'' and encouraged the other defendant.
He said he did not see any distinction between the two men in terms of setting an appropriate prison term.
The court heard the boy was terrified that the pair would follow him once he broke free from them and he walked six and a half miles to a friend's house because he was too scared to get on a bus.
The judge also said he had read a impact statement from the young victim which described how he took an overdose of pills and alcohol a few months after the attack which was a ``cry for help''.
He said the teenager, who is now 15, suffers from depression and panic attacks and has difficulty sleeping.
The judge said the boy is receiving counselling and is expected to do so for some time.
He said El-Janabi had been an intelligence officer in Saddam's regime but was now a British citizen. He said he fought in the Iraqi army in both the Iran-Iraq War and the First Gulf War.
The court heard he has knee problems which he claims were caused by American troops while he was a prisoner of war.
The jury rejected El-Janabi's claim he was in bed, suffering from knee problems, when the attack on the boy took place.
It also rejected Wilson-Fletcher's claim he was in the toilet at the time of the attack but had nothing to do with the incident.
The judge said Wilson-Fletcher had a good job in a Liverpool law firm at the time he was arrested.
The court heard both men continue to claim they are innocent and Judge Leeming said El-Janabi had not shown ``any remorse, empathy or insight''.