A married father has been jailed for groping a teenage girl and a young woman on a train journey through Cheshire.
Abdul Kashim, 29, of Westbeech Road in London, had been travelling between Shrewsbury and York when he molested the two victims at different stages of the trip.
He held the thigh of one complainant, a student in her 20s, and later grabbed a schoolgirl’s breast after asking if she was ticklish.
Kashim pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to nine months in prison at Chester Crown Court on Thursday (April 4).
In a victim impact statement, one complainant said she blamed herself, wondering if she had led Kashim on because she smiled at him when he sat next to her in the carriage.
Sentencing, Judge Patrick Thompson told the defendant: “She did not lead you on. She was simply trying to travel on the train and she shouldn’t have to face unwanted attention from men like you when she does.”
Prosecuting, Mark Connor said that in October 2017 Kashim had boarded a train in Shrewsbury and walked down the carriage looking for a seat.
He made eye contact with the first complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and asked if he could sit next to her.
She began to feel uncomfortable as Kashim was constantly “fidgeting”, and at one point pressed his upper body against hers.
“She texted a friend about what was happening,” Mr Connor said. “Then she felt the defendant’s hand brush over her coat and onto her thigh.
“A moment later when she was looking out the window trying to remain calm she felt him press onto the outside of her thigh with his cupped hand. He held it there for seconds.”
Extremely upset, she moved carriages and told a female guard who alerted British Transport Police.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said she blamed herself for being “too nice” to Kashim. She has also lost her job as she used to travel by train to work but can no longer face it.
Further along the line, Kashim sat next to a teenage girl who was sitting in a window seat.
He tried to make conversation, “grabbing her student ID” and asking her about school and where she lived. He also told her he was looking for a girl to take to a party.
“He started stroking her hair,” Mr Connor told the court. “At that point she became scared.
“He asked if she was ticklish and he began touching her and squeezing her waist, thigh and left breast. He was smiling throughout but she was in total shock.”
She managed to take several photos of him on her phone before getting off at York and reporting him.
In her victim impact statement to police, she said she was now suspicious of men and did not like travelling alone. The incident had made her both “angry and upset”.
The court heard that Kashim had come to the UK from his native Bangladesh to study business management in London and had no previous convictions.
He made no comment in his police interview but later pleaded guilty on the day of his trial at South Cheshire Magistrates Court.
Judge Thompson said the case was so serious that only a sentence of immediate custody was appropriate.
He also ordered Kashim to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
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