HE PLAYED the part of a knight in shining armour, offering a 15-year-old girl safety when she could not protect herself.
But that same man turned attacker, leading two of his friends in a horrifying gang rape in Sydney.
Her three-year fight for justice ended yesterday as a jury found three Zambian nationals guilty of aggravated sexual assault without consent for the attack in August 2006.
The main attacker, Likumbo Makasa, was also found guilty of charges of having sex with a child under 16.
The chequered history of the matter can now be revealed - there have been two aborted District Court trials and this one, meant to take a month, has lasted well over three months.
Makasa, Tyrone Chishimba and Mumbi Peter Mulenga had pleaded not guilty and faced a trial on a total of 30 charges between them arising out of the incident in Hurstville.
The court heard that the girl, who cannot be identified, had been drinking alcohol with friends when she was met by two of the accused - Makasa and Chishimba - who bought the group bourbon and cask wine.
The teenager passed out drunk in a 7-Eleven store and Makasa offered to take her back to his unit so she would not be picked up by the police.
After they arrived at the unit, police said, Makasa, a married nurse who has been a permanent resident for three years, showed her a hand gun.
The girl told police she was intoxicated and vomited once.
She passed out again and later told the trio that she was still drunk and wanted to sleep.
The court heard that the girl did indeed fall asleep, only to awake to the horror of a man on top of her having intercourse, to which she had not consented, with the other two watching.
All three were found guilty of aggravated sexual assault in company. Makasa faced additional charges for having sex with the underage victim for another nine hours after the other men left his unit.
He was found guilty of three of those.
The trial heard allegations that for two hours after the initial assault, the trio repeatedly raped the girl.
However, the jury did not convict them on those charges.
The trio, two of whom have no prior criminal record, face a minimum of 10 years' jail.
Judge Graham Armitage remanded them in custody to face court in October for sentencing.
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