A rapist who attacked a schoolgirl with three other men thought he could get away with his crimes by fleeing the country.

Morteza Bandali, 22, of School Way in North Finchley, appeared before Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (September 22) and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

The court heard how the victim had travelled to London from Bristol on August 13 in 2016. When in London, she was robbed by one man and then imprisoned in a residential block in Enfield.

It was here that she was forced by a gang of four men to perform oral sex on each of them.

Bandali was 17 when the rape took place and was originally arrested in May 2017 and charged on June 17 last year alongside three men.

The three men, all aged in their 20s, were sentenced in April this year and together their jail time totalled 45 years.

But that trial took place without Bandali who had escaped the country on July 11 last year – four days before his first magistrates’ court hearing

Bandali had travelled to Europe and returned to London, only to be arrested again in west London on February 5 this year for failing to appear.

After being arrested again, Bandali pleaded guilty to rape on July 1 having initially denied them.

Detective sergeant Charlotte Carter from the Met’s Central South BCU said: "I am pleased that we have seen another person brought to account for their part in this attack against a vulnerable teenage girl.

"Bandali thought he could get away without facing punishment and today’s result has proved otherwise.

"I would urge anyone who had been the victim of a sexual offence to come forward to police. You will be listened to and every effort made to secure justice."