Three Bedford men who raped a young woman after one had kidnapped her outside a nightclub were told yesterday (Wednesday) by a judge they face long prison sentences.
The 23-year-old victim became separated from a friend on her first night out after the end of Covid restrictions.
She lost her as they left Vogue nightclub in Bedford High Street in the early hours of the morning.
Gemti Hyka, 31, who had targeted her inside the club, put her into his car and drove her to an address in the town centre where he raped her.
Two of his associates, Vullnet Haka and Ibrahim Bezati, arrived and raped her. She had been slapped and forced to take cocaine.
Early in the morning she fled the house and was found by passers-by.
She told Luton Crown Court she had no memory of leaving the club in the early hours of 4 September last year and said she went into “survival mode” at the address she was taken to.
The woman told prosecutor Martin Mulgrew: “I begged them to let me go. I was confused and scared.”
She said she would never agree to leave with someone she did not know and said she did not agree to have sex or sexual activity with anyone.
Hyka, of Cambridge Road, Bedford, was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and two charges of rape. He was cleared of two other charges of rape.
Haka, 33, of Washburn Close, Bedford and Bezati, 36, of Caves Lane, Bedford were found guilty of false imprisonment and two charges of rape of the woman.
The jury cleared them of two other charges of rape.
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.
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 wine.
They then went on to the Slug and Lettuce for some more drinks before going onto 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.
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.
Judge Steven Evans said he will sentence the men in seven to eight weeks’ time.
He 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.”
The judge told the jury the defendants faced long prison sentences.
Reporting by South Beds News Agency
Edited by Paul Hutchinson for the Bedford Independent