Justice statue
Bradford rapist Wakar Akhtar has been found in Brescia after fleeing the UK during his trial Getty

Bradford rapist Wakar Akhtar has been arrested in Italy after he fled Britain while his trial was still ongoing.

Police found Akhtar to be in Brescia, north Italy, and arrested him on Saturday. Authorities are now working to have him extradited back to England to serve a 17-year sentence handed down to him in his absence last month.

Akhtar of Hudson Avenue, Bradford, was found guilty of raping a woman in a Bradford park, along with co-defendants Tamseel Virk, Azad Raja and Najeed Ul-Saeem, who were all given jail terms of 17 years for their part in the conspiracy.

During the trial jurors heard how how taxi driver Virk picked up a drunk woman who had been out celebrating a friend's birthday in Leeds.

When she came round, she found Raja was having sex with her while Akhtar told her he had already had sex with her.

Senior investigating officer, detective chief inspector Steve Snow, said of the crime: "Firstly, I want to praise the courage of the victim in this case, who has had to give evidence during the trial, against the men convicted today.

"These men have been found guilty of a despicable crime against a vulnerable lone female, who was taking a taxi home after a night out."