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Chester-le-Street gym boss jailed for raping teenage girl
A BUSINESSMAN has been jailed for raping a teenage schoolgirl after attempting to ply her with alcohol.
Eiraj Zarezadeh, 48, who ran a gym and takeaway in the Chester-le-Street area, was given a nine year sentence for the attack in the early hours of Christmas Eve in 2011.
Newcastle Crown Court heard he collected the girl and an older woman and presented them with a bottle of Champagne to drink in the car on the way over to his house.
Once at his house he suggested they play drinking games where the loser had to drink a shot of mixed spirits.
The teenager later got changed into pyjamas and slept on a double bed next to the older woman, who had passed out in her clothes.
The girl awoke to find her attacker raping her and texted her mother before fleeing the house.
Ian Brook, prosecuting, said: “It is tantamount to an abuse of trust.”
The girl’s family called the police and when officers went to Zarezadeh’s home on Front Street, Grange Villa, they found a cannabis farm with £5,000 worth of equipment and £11,000 worth of drugs.
Recorder Ian Atherton also jailed him for six months to run consecutively for the production of the drug and the abstraction of electricity to the value of over £3,800 to run the operation.
He admitted those charges at magistrates sitting in north Durham on December 26, 2011 but was convicted of the rape following a second trial at Durham Crown Court on September 2 this year. A jury had previously failed to reach a verdict.
The court heard Zarezadeh, who was jailed for two years for indecently assaulting a girl under 16 in 1997, had been coerced by drug dealers to use his home for cannabis production after they said they knew about his past and would blacken his name unless he co-operated.
Zarezadeh will be required to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Mitigating, Jamie Adams said: “What happened occurred because of temptation and not because of any unseemly or sinister planning of any kind.”