A judge has heavily criticised Snobs nightclub in Birmingham after ejecting a ‘drunk student’ who was then abducted and horrifically raped.
Judge Mary Stacy accused Snobs of being partly to blame for the attack after the 19-year-old victim was ‘abandoned’ in the city centre to be picked off ‘like prey’.
It is believed that bouncers removed the University of Birmingham student from the venue after she collapsed and became seperated from her friends. A court heard how she was then lured into a transit van by Zaheer Abbas, 30, and Sajad Hussain, 35, and taken to an industrial estate where she was brutally raped and assaulted in an hour-long ordeal.
Abbas was jailed for 11 years after being convicted of rape, while Hussain was sentenced to six years after being found guilty of sexual assault.
Sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Stacy criticised the management at Snobs for the venue’s cheap drinks promotions and accused them of acting ‘irresponsible towards their customers’.
She said: “Something needs to be said about Snobs nightclub. We have heard how the establishment carries on serving drinks to students who have had far more than enough to drink.
“They then fail to take responsibility for the students, they removed [her] after she collapsed inside.
“Snobs abandonded her on the street where she was prey to the likes of Abbas and Hussain. The security officer is not personally to blame, it was a failure of Snobs itself to fail to put procedures in place, for example by arranging taxis to take them [students] home.
“The disregard for customers allowed for the circumstances for this crime to occur.”
The judge said that the case called into question the club’s fitness to hold a licence, and referred the venue to licenscing chiefs at Birmingham City Council. She also vowed to contact colleges and universities warning them of Snobs’ cheap drinks promotions targeting ‘young and vulnerable students’.
She added: “This was a deeply destressing case. The distress on the face of the jurors was all too evident and understandable.”
Abbas was convicted by a jury last December, while Hussain was convicted last month. Both trials were shown chilling CCTV of the pair outside the club before the attack.
Jurors heard the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was ejected by Snobs’ security staff at around 3.30am on February 20 last year.
Abbas and Hussain, along with others, were then seen leading her to Abbas’ transit bain. She was then driven to an industrial estate in the Nechells area of the city where she was raped by Abbas and sexually assualted by Hussain. The horrific ordeal lasted over an hour before the twisted pair dropped the victim back at her student accommodation.
The court heard the student, who had been a virgin, had since dropped out of her course at the University of Birmingham.
Judge Stacy told the wicked pair: “What you both did to her had devastating consequences. After achieving her goal of getting into a top university, because of your actions she has dropped out.
“She no longer goes out on her own and feels wary and fearful.
“She was clearly abducted, she had to be held up and was unable to walk unaided. She was totally incapable.
“Abbas, you took her virginity from her which can never be reclaimed, you took her innocence, and ruined her time in Birmingham.
“Both of you have shown no remorse and have cynically attempted to portray her as a sexual predator, when the exact opposite was true.”
Abbas, of Small Heath, Birmingham, and Hussain, of Bordesley Green, Birmingham, denied doing anything wrong but were both convicted by seperate juries.
The judge praised their victim who endured two trials, saying: “I pay tribute to her strength and courage coming forward. Her bravery and dignity impressed everyone at court.
“Her actions resulted in you both being brought to justice.”