Man who indecently assaulted woman on train escapes jail

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A 36-year-old man has been given a six-month suspended sentence and 200 hours unpaid work for sexually assaulting a 25-year-old woman as she slept on train.

The woman was attacked on a London to Birmingham train as it passed through Leighton Buzzard.

Bader Jilani, of Lonsdale, Wolverton was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court after earlier being found guilty by a jury of one count of sexual assault.

He was also sentenced to a 12-month supervision order, will appear on the sex offenders register for seven years and was ordered to pay £3,500 costs.

The court heard how the victim fell asleep soon after boarding the 6.49pm Euston to Birmingham New Street train on Wednesday, August 13, as she travelled home to Northampton after a day working in the capital.

The woman woke a short time later to find a man sat next to her indecently touching her under a coat he had placed across them. The assault only stopped when the victim opened her eyes and challenged the man.

The victim got off the train at Milton Keynes and raised the alarm.

Sgt Mark Summerfield, of British Transport Police (BTP), said: “This was a predatory and deeply unpleasant sexual assault.

“Jilani took advantage of the enclosed environment of a train carriage to prey on a vulnerable young woman for his own sexual gratification.

“The emotional impact of this offence on the woman should not be underestimated and I would like to thank her for having the confidence to report this to the police and for her co-operation throughout our investigation.”

This sentencing comes a month on from the launch of BTP’s Report It To Stop It campaign, which aims to further increase the reporting of unwanted sexual behaviour on the rail network.

The high-profile online campaign aims to build on the success of Project Guardian, a long-term initiative to increase awareness and confidence amongst the public to report sexual offences – particularly those offences which are often unreported, such as sexual touching, exposure, outraging public decency, lewd comments, leering and harassment.

Every day, plain clothes and uniformed BTP officers patrol the rail network to identify offenders and prevent crime. Victims of unwanted sexual behaviour can report it to BTP by text on 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.