UK court jails Ghanaian immigrant for raping a lesbian

A Manchester Crown Court in the UK has increased the jail term of a Ghanaian immigrant, Francis Kofi Okrah, for raping a 22-year-old lesbian.

Okrah, 36, is reported to have appealed his seven year jail sentence but had six weeks added to his jail term.

According to a report on the Daily Mail, Okrah had gone to the court to have his jail term reduced claiming his trial was unfair because his barrister hadn’t made his victim cry in the witness box.

Okrah said his defence lawyer Nicholas Clarke had been ‘too soft’ on his victim and should have cross-examined her hard enough to reduce her to tears during his trial.

He was convicted of raping the lesbian who he lured to his flat on the pretext of helping her re-charge her phone.

The victim whose name was not mentioned was said to have ended up on her own after a night out in Manchester in 2010 and was at the train station at 2.30am when she realised her mobile phone had run out of battery.

Isolated from her friends, she met Okrah by chance and he invited her back to his home, then in Beswick, to charge her phone. Having been drinking, she ‘naively’ agreed, the court heard.

She told Okrah she was a lesbian and not interested in him but, after falling asleep on his bed, she woke up to find him raping her.

Despite screaming at him to stop, he carried on regardless telling her ‘he wanted to make her pregnant’.

Swabs were taken from the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but a DNA match to Okrah was not made until 2013 when he was arrested on suspicion of another offence.

He told the court the woman had consented but the jury found him guilty of rape in November 2013.

He then tried to challenge his conviction, claiming Mr Clarke had been too soft on the woman after she described her ordeal to the jury from the witness box.

He argued the barrister was wrong when he ‘refused to cross-examine the complainant so as not to make her cry’.

Okrah also claimed the jury should not have been told about her sexual orientation or his immigration status.

He even complained that Mr Clarke’s closing speech to the jury was ‘ill-advised and inappropriate’.

But Appeal Court judges were so horrified by Okrah’s complaint that they instead gave him an extra six weeks behind bars for wasting their time.

Judge Munro told him: ‘No point you raise renders the decision of the jury arguably unsafe.’

She said Okrah’s barrister was simply ‘not entitled to cross-examine a victim for the purpose of making her cry’.

The jury was fully entitled to know the victim was a lesbian and to be told of Okrah’s status as an illegal over-stayer, she added.

And Mr Clarke’s closing speech was ‘carefully crafted and delivered’, she concluded.

Judge Munro, who was sitting with Lord Justice Simon and Mr Justice Hickinbottom, dismissed the appeal.

Condemning Okrah’s challenge as ‘wholly without merit’, she ordered him to serve an extra 42 days in jail for wasting judicial time.

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