A PREDATOR who was a football protege has been jailed for eight years for raping a student.

Sultan Mohammed, who the court heard played for Colchester United’s youth team as a 16-year-old and has a first class degree in international business management, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentence yesterday.

He had denied rape but was convicted a jury after a trial.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday, Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, read a statement from the victim.

In it she said she was left feeling “emotionally distant” following the attack, which took place during Freshers’ Week last year.

She said: “I hate feeling like a victim and feel I am constantly seeking reassurance as I am so anxious.

“I feel so sad so often I am seeking therapy.

“When I go out and have fun it brings back memories of that night.

"I should be enjoying myself and making new friends but this has not happened.”

The trial heard Mohammed was prowling the university campus in the early hours of the morning when he managed to gain access to a block of student flats via an insecure door.

READ MORE: Sultan Mohammed jailed for eight years after raping Essex Uni student

He went into a room, stripped naked and raped the victim whilst she was asleep.

When she challenged him, Mohammed said his name was Michael and claimed he had met the victim at a club on campus.

He left the area but was caught on CCTV trying other windows and doors across campus. Police later discovered a hand print on a window before searching his address in Almond Way, Colchester.

Soraya Lawrence, mitigating, said Mohammed had had a bright future ahead of him.

She said: “For those who know him this is a very difficult thing to take.”

Judge David Pugh told Mohammed: “You come from a close knit family and they find your actions on that night inexplicable.”

A restraining order was put in place banning Mohammed from contacting the victim and from university’s Colchester campus.

The case led to a review of security at all the university’s accommodation blocks and extra CCTV cameras being installed.

READ MORE: Sultan Mohammed jailed for eight years after raping Essex Uni student

Investigating officer Det Con Adam Tyhurst said: “This was a predatory attack and it has understandably had a devastating effect on the woman’s life.

"I’d like to commend her on the strength and courage she has shown throughout the investigation, standing strong to ensure Sultan Mohammed was held accountable for what he did.

“Whilst incidents like this are rare, we understand the impact they have on the local community.

“It was through the support of the victim and working alongside the University and the Crown Prosecution Service, that we were able to quickly find the person responsible for this awful crime and bring him to justice.

“I urge anyone who has been the victim of crime to make a report it to us so that we can investigate the crime.

“We treat all reports with the sensitivity and confidentially they require.”

*Colchester United say they have no record of Mohammed ever being involved in the club's youth team or academy*