Three Albanian men who gang-raped a young woman in Bedford and ‘subjected her to ‘every woman’s worst nightmare’ have been jailed or a total of 57 years.
The 23-year-old victim was enjoying her first night out after the end of Covid restrictions when she became separated from her friend.
She found herself alone and vulnerable after leaving Vogue nightclub in Bedford High Street in the early hours of Saturday, September 4, last year.
Unbeknownst to her, she had been stalked inside the club by Gemti Hyka, 31, who bundled her into his car and drove her to an address in the town centre where he raped her.
Two of his associates, Vullnet Haka, 33, and Ibrahim Bezati, 36, arrived and raped her. During the ordeal, the woman was slapped in the face and forced to take cocaine.
Sentencing the trio at Luton Crown Court, Judge Steven Evans, said they had inflicted ‘every woman’s worst nightmare’ on their victim, adding they had ‘treated her like she was less than human’.
The woman was kidnapped in Bedford High Street on September 4 last year by Gemti Hyka (pictured), 31, who bundled her into his car and drove her to an house where he raped her. Today at Luton Crown Court, Hyka was jailed for 26 years
Vullnet Haka (left), 33, and Ibrahim Bezati (right), 36, both of Bedford, were found guilty of false imprisonment and two charges of rape of the woman. Haka was jailed 14 years and Bezati for 17 years
The woman managed to escape from the house in the morning and was found in a distraught state by passers-by.
Giving evidence at Luton Crown Court, she said had no memory of leaving the club in the early hours of 4 September last year.
The woman told prosecutor Martin Mulgrew: ‘I begged them to let me go. I was confused and scared.’
Hyka, of Bedford, was jailed for 26 years after he was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and two charges of rape.
Haka, 33, and Bezati, 36, both of Bedford, were found guilty of false imprisonment and two charges of rape of the woman. Haka was sentenced to 14 years. Bezati was sentenced to 17 years.
The victim’s friend told the court that when they left the club she went right and the victim went left to avoid a group of men fighting in the street.
The friend, also 23, spent half an hour looking for her on her own and was then joined by a male friend on the search.
The young woman found herself alone and vulnerable after leaving Vogue nightclub in Bedford (pictured) High Street in the early hours of the morning.
Finally, at around half past seven in the morning, she said she received a call from the friend who had been crying. She said she was at Kempston Police Station and told her: ‘I need Mum.’
Her friend told the jury that they had gone for dinner in Zizzi in Bedford where they ate Pasta and drank two bottles of wine between them. They went on to the Slug and Lettuce where they had a cocktail, a glass of wine and a Tequila shot before going into Vogue nightclub.
She said it was their first night out after the lockdown. At one point she saw her friend receive a kiss from a man on the dance floor. ‘I told him to leave her alone and he left,’ she said.
On a scale of 1 to 10 she was asked how drunk her friend was. She replied ‘7 or 8.’
Hyka told the jury when they got to the address she agreed to have sex. He said: ‘She never cried when she was with me. I never did it. I am not a rapist.’
Under cross examination by Mr Mulgrew, Hyka denied that he and the other men spoke in Albanian and laughed at her.
After their conviction, Judge Evans said: ‘I am satisfied Hyka targeted her in the club. He formed the idea he would take her to his house. I am satisfied he waited for her to achieve an ambush. He made the other defendants aware she was at his house.
‘Hyka is likely to have raped her before their arrival. Once they all attended she was forced to take cocaine and encouraged to drink with the single aim of making her comply with what they intended. An atmosphere of intimidation and fear was created. She was slapped and forced to take cocaine. There was a degree of humiliation.’
Detective Constable Hannah Latton, from Bedfordshire Police’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team said: ‘This was an horrific case where the victim was effectively targeted by these men, who took her to a property where she was held against her will and repeatedly raped.
‘Thankfully incidents such as these are incredibly rare, but the result should serve as reassurance to anyone who has been through the trauma of rape or serious sexual assault. We will believe you and do everything in our power to bring such predators to justice.
‘The victim showed tremendous courage by facing her attackers in court, even though they had the audacity to deny the offences, putting her through a further ordeal of re-living the incident during the trial. Her evidence was crucial to ensuring these men will remain behind bars for a considerable amount of time.
‘Nobody should feel they cannot speak up about abuse. We will treat every case professionally with the utmost compassion and have specialist officers trained to support people who have experienced such horrendous offences.’