Three men have been jailed for kidnapping a woman who got into their car after a night out, believing it was a taxi.
Ajay Doppalapudi, Vahar Manchala, and Rana Yallambai coerced their victim into their Audi in Leicester in the early hours of Sunday 16 January last year. They then drove her 15 miles to a secluded spot before she managed to escape.
The three men were each jailed for 10 years at Leicester Crown Court.
They had denied kidnapping the woman but were found guilty following a trial in September, The BBC reported.
When the car drove along Narborough Road, away from her house, the woman realised something was not right. The driver eventually stopped in a secluded area of Misterton, just off the M1, near Lutterworth where the woman was pulled from the car.
After a while, she was able to escape and ran off. She eventually reached the motorway, where she began trying to attract attention. After a short time, police officers arrived and she was taken to a place of safety, where she disclosed what happened, a report by the Leicester Police said.
After Friday’s (6) sentencing, detectives described Doppalapudi, 27, Manchala, 24, and Yellambai, 30, as “predators” and praised their victim for her bravery in giving evidence that helped convict them.
The prosecution told the trial the men had been “prowling” the city centre in their car when they saw the woman, who is in her 30s.
Subsequent CCTV inquiries identified the car in Leicester city centre. The registered keeper was living in Gaul Street in the Westcotes area of Leicester. The owner was traced to the defendants’ address, where they were arrested.
Detective Constable Gemma Fox, the investigating officer, said, “Without doubt, the three men involved in this case were predators. They were in the city centre in the early hours that Sunday morning looking for a woman to take advantage of to fulfil their own sexual gratifications.
She added, “I cannot commend the victim enough for her immense bravery in recounting her ordeal both to police and again in front of a jury.
“The account she was able to provide was vital in ensuring that we were able to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
Doppalapudi and Yellambai were also each charged with two counts of sexual assault on a female and two counts of sexual assault by penetration.
They were both found not guilty of both counts of sexual assault on a female, as well as one count of sexual assault by penetration. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other count for either man.
Manchala was also charged with two counts of sexual assault on a female and two counts of sexual assault by penetration. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on any of these indictments.