Christ's Pieces park, Cambridge
Christ's Pieces park, Cambridge, where the rape took place Getty Images

Two Libyan soldiers have been jailed for 12 years each after tracking and then raping a man in Cambridge "like hunting dogs who had seen a wounded animal."

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, attacked the victim, who is aged in his 20s, last October.

They were found guilty of rape and aiding and abetting rape following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

The court heard that they had been scouring the street for victims after leaving their barracks unsupervised on 26 October 2014.

They met the victim, who was a "complete stranger" to them, shortly after 3.30am. He had just left a wedding party after drinking "formidable" amounts of alcohol when the pair attacked him.

'Like hunting dogs'

Prosecutor John Farmer told the court that the victim "was in no fit state one way or another to consent.

"They behaved like two hunting dogs who had seen a wounded animal. They effectively took him over and, initially not using too much force and later more forcefully, kept him going in the direction they wanted him to go."

The ordeal lasted just under 40 minutes, with both men taking it in turns to rape the victim in the Christ's Pieces park in the centre of Cambridge, while the other held him down. They admitted they had sex with him, but said he consented.

Video footage of a police interview with the victim was shown in court. The man, who has not been named, told officers: "I cannot believe what I'm saying, they raped me. It was horrible, I feel horrible. Don't say anything to my mum."

He continued: "They were horrendous, they weren't human. They weren't human people. They were horrendous people, they were sick people. They don't deserve to live, they shouldn't be alive."

'A truly horrendous crime'

Speaking outside the court after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Alan Page said: "This was a truly horrendous crime and I hope today's result will allow the victim some closure and to begin rebuilding his life.

"He has shown tremendous bravery throughout this whole process and I am grateful to him for the trust he placed in police in ensuring that justice was done.

"These men deliberately targeted their victim because of his vulnerability that night, which they took advantage of to commit this callous crime."

The former cadets were stationed at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire, where 300 trainees arrived last June.

The training programme was scrapped in November following the rape allegations and other reports of anti-social behaviour in the small village of Bassingbourn.

Three other Libyan soldiers from the same base have also been charged with sexually assaulting four women in Cambridge on the same night in October.

The programme was intended to support the Libyan government's efforts to stabilise the country following the collapse of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.