Sex pest's victim was woman police officer in plainclothes

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The Independent Online

A Bangladeshi student who groped a plainclothes woman police officer following him because of his "suspicious" behaviour avoided jail today after being told the sooner he left Britain the better.

Sex pest Mohammed Ahsanuzzaman, 27, who was given a suspended prison sentence and recommended for deportation, first aroused the concerns of the constable and two colleagues as he criss-crossed central London one Wednesday evening rush-hour.

"They were aware that he was especially looking ... at females and looking downwards ... perhaps in the hip area," prosecutor Francis Bolton told London's Southwark Crown Court.

He stood "unnecessarily close" to each one and at first they thought he was about to "pick a pocket or two".

Finally, as the three British Transport Police officers continued to watch, he "moved towards" the woman constable.

"She suddenly felt hands stroking her legs and moving up to her private area," said counsel.

"She was shocked ... and horrified, but fortunately for her there were two other officers with her and they saw what happened.

"They pounced on the defendant and arrested him."

He later insisted it had been "an accident", but the barrister said what he had done was clearly "deliberate".

Ahsanuzzaman, of Langdon Road, East Ham, east London, who repeated his protestations of innocence in evidence, was convicted of one count of "sexual assault by touching" on 15 October last year.

Sentencing, Recorder Brian O'Neill said when the officers first spotted him on the Central Line they were convinced he was about to "pick a pocket or two.

"They observed you standing close to females and at the time thought you were staring at their handbags."

But not long afterwards his real intentions became clear.

"You manoeuvred yourself close to a woman you believe no more than a female passenger on the Tube.

"What you didn't know was that she was a female member of the pickpocket squad and, together with her two male colleagues travelling in the same carriage, had been watching you for some time."

The recorder said the only reason the assault was not more serious was because they pounced on him.

However, despite the "overwhelming evidence" against him, he was still protesting his innocence.

"In my judgment, notwithstanding your previous good character, this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be passed.

"The message must go out to men travelling on the Tube that such behaviour as you exhibited that day is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"But I don't want to pass a sentence that keeps you in this country longer than necessary.

"The nine-month prison sentence I impose will therefore be suspended for two years with a recommendation you be deported because I take the view your continued presence in this country is not conducive to the public good," he added.