POLICE have released CCTV footage which they say was crucial in snaring a riverbank rapist who terrorised and attacked a stranger, grabbing her as she walked home from the pub.

Kuwaiti Abdel-Aziz Al-Shamary was last week jailed for 12 years for the brutal attack on a woman in Darlington who a judge said had been treated as “less than human”.

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Encountering the victim as she walked home from a night out, he dragged her down a small embankment to the rear of Halfords, close to the River Skerne, hit her in the face and pulled her trousers down before raping her.

After his conviction at Teesside Crown Court for rape it emerged the 21-year-old had posed for a photograph weeks earlier at the spot where the woman was attacked.

Judge Sean Morris said he had targeted his victim, who described how she now frequently pictured his face every night she went to bed.

On the day of the rape Al-Shamary had been watching hardcore porn on his mobile phone depicting outdoor sex. He also drank two bottles of whisky, mixing it with coke.

He fled after the attack, but was spotted by two passing motorists who went to the victim’s aid, alerting police.

The CCTV released by police and obtained exclusively by The Northern Echo shows Al-Shamary running along St Cuthbert’s Way following the attack and onto a slip road behind the East Street multi-storey car park.

CCTV cameras then pick up him crossing East Street, near to Sports Direct, where he appears to drop his cola bottle before stooping to pick it up. He can also be seen pulling up and adjusting his trousers.

Minutes later Al-Shamary, who is wearing a hooded jacket, is captured walking casually along Parkgate, away from the town, towards blue flashing lights. At this point he was arrested, police having received a report of rape.

DNA material from the victim was later discovered in Al-Shamary’s underwear, providing a forensic link between the two.

Detective Constable Neil Stannard, from Darlington CID, said: “The CCTV was a crucial and vital piece of evidence that was invaluable to the prosecution case. It helped the jury understand the geography of the town and movements of the victim, suspect and witnesses.

“It helped us build up a detailed picture and timeline of what happened to the victim on the night of the attack.

“The CCTV also provided us with strong evidence to challenge the offender throughout the course of the investigation.”

Police received video footage from Darlington Borough Council and also local businesses as part of their investigation.

A council spokeswoman said: “We have a great working relationship with the police and when they approached us requesting to review the CCTV coverage that had been recorded on the night of the attack we were happy to support them with their evidence gathering and to hand them the footage we had.”

Following his arrest in the early hours of May 17 this year the part-time pizza worker refused to speak to female officers, saying in his homeland he would only speak to men, and also referred to England as a “bitch country”.

He originally entered the UK illegally, living in Middlesbrough, and then moved to Darlington where he lived in Pensbury Street.

By the time of the attack he had been granted to leave remain by the Home Office.

It is expected Al-Shamary will be deported back to the Middle East when he released from jail half-way through his sentence.