Man went on run during rape trial

Convicted rapist Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali
Convicted rapist Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali

A man who was granted bail during a lunch break at the end of a rape trial has gone on the run after disappearing from the court.

Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali of Stockleigh Road, St Leonards was standing trial at Hove Crown Court last Thursday.

He was facing a series of charges against a man from Hastings relating to last year.

Ali had been granted bail by the judge that allowed him to leave the dock during the lunch break in his trial as long as he did not leave the building.

However part way through the judge’s summing up of the trial, Ali fled from the court and disappeared.

Officers were unable to trace him.

The jury convicted Ali in his absence of rape, attempted rape and three counts of sexual assault.

All of the offences were against the same victim.

A warrant has now been issued for the arrest of Ali, who previously worked as a barber in St Leonards.

Ali is 5ft 7ins and when he fled court he had black hair and heavy growth around his chin.

Detective constable Julian Stokes said: “There is no evidence to suggest that Ali will commit further offences while he is at large.

“But we need to find and arrest him as quickly as possible.

“The jury has found him guilty of these nasty offences but his victim does not have justice yet as Ali has not been punished. If you have seen Ali or have any information about where he could be, please contact us.”

Anyone with information about Ali’s wherabouts can email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101. Alternatively members of the public can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.