'Highly dangerous' sex offender on the run after being found guilty of rape

Mohammed Zamani remains wanted after failing to attend a hearing at Bristol Crown Court in 2006. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A wanted man has been convicted of rape and attempted rape following two separate incidents in Bristol. 

Mohammed Reza Telabi Zamani, now 52, remains wanted after failing to attend a hearing at Bristol Crown Court in February 2006.  

A trial was held in his absence at the same court last week where he was convicted of the rape of a woman in her 20s in Bristol city centre in June 2005 and the attempted rape of a woman in her 20s in December 2003. 

In the 2003 incident, Zamani attempted to rape a woman as she walked up the steps from Frogmore Street into Park Street after an evening out with her friends. DNA was recovered from the victim as part of police enquiries. 

In the second incident, Zamani approached a woman in an alleyway off Park Street and raped her.

Following the attack the victim managed to raise the alarm with an officer and DNA was later recovered from the scene.  

Zamani was identified as a potential suspect following the second offence, but when officers went to arrest him he had already left the country and his car was found at Heathrow Airport.

The car was recovered and DNA recovered from it matched the DNA recovered during the rape and attempted rape offences.  

Zamani was arrested in November 2005 following his return to the UK and interviewed. He admitted having sexual contact with the victims, but denied both offences.

He was charged on Friday 11 November 2005 and appeared at Bristol Crown Court, where he was given bail. He failed to attend his next hearing and has been wanted ever since.  

"He’s proven himself to be a calculating predator in the way he walked the streets of Bristol late at night looking for a woman to attack in this abhorrent way," Detective Sergeant Lawson added.

“The victims who gave evidence against him during this trial have shown immense bravery, but there will be no sense of justice until Zamani is apprehended and imprisoned to serve out the sentence imposed by the court. 

“Zamani is an Iranian national described as around 6ft tall, of medium build, with a long face and receding dark short hair.  

“It’s possible he may still be in the UK, but our working hypotheses is that he’s abroad and we’re working with our international law enforcement partners to find him as a matter of urgency. 

“If anyone knows where Mohammed Zamani is, please call 999 and give the call handler the reference number 5219054441.”