A CHESHIRE cabbie from Ellesmere Port is on the run after fleeing to Turkey in the middle of his rape trial.
Sultan Amari (46), of Syria, was due to give evidence at Warrington Crown Court but emailed to say he had no intention of appearing to defend himself at the hearing.
Police checks made on his passport showed he boarded a plane on the Sunday night before he was due to give evidence on Monday and landed at Istanbul Airport, in clear breach of his bail conditions.
Amari was found guilty in his absence and given an 11 year prison sentence for the rape of a young student.
The court heard that Amari raped the female victim twice over a period of eight hours after picking her up late at night and taking her to his home in Sealand Road, Chester.
The jury was told that the woman initially had no memory of what had happened to her and had woken up the next morning, naked and with no idea where she was. She later had a flashback of a man having sex with her.
Amari told police the woman “instigated sexual activity” and had “absolutely consented” but the jury did not believe his defence and convicted him of rape.
Judge Tina Landale said: “This was a gross breach of trust with a very vulnerable woman. CCTV footage showed that she was incapable of walking in a straight line and was obviously drunk. Instead of protecting her, Mr Amari exploited and took advantage of her.”