A bisexual asylum seeker from Algeria has been jailed for seven years and ten months after pleading guilty to charges of rape.
Elhadi Sakhri, 42, targeted men in the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village on Canal Street.
Manchester Crown Court heard Sakhri, a taxi driver, won indefinite leave to remain in Britain nine years ago after complaining that he faced persecution in Algeria because of his sexuality.
Now, after admitting two charges of rape, Sakhri, of Thorn Court, Pendleton, Salford, has been jailed for seven years and ten months.
He is expected to be deported on release because of the seriousness of his crimes.
Manchester Evening News reports that the first victim, an 18-year-old man, entered into Sakhri’s cab in the early hours of 27 June.
After driving past the man’s destination, Sakhri stopped in a car park opposite a student halls of residence, ordered the victim out of the vehicle and then attacked him.
In a separate incident on 12 July, Sakhri drove a 22-year-old man, who had been clubbing in Manchester’s Gay Village, away from his stated destination of Stretford, and raped him on Hulme Street.
Sakhri had claimed the encounters were consensual before pleading guilty on the day of trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Nicola Gatto, defending, said of Sakhri: “He tells me he came to this country because of intolerance to his sexuality. For many years he worked in the security industry along Canal Street – on a daily basis he was dealing with young gay men in a vulnerable condition because of alcohol and yet it seems he was highly regarded.”
Judge Martin Steiger QC said Sakhri had “taken advantage” of his position to commit the crimes.
Sakhri will now be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.