September 2018

Nine month sentence for groper who pawed teen’s bottom on crowded train

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A REPEAT sex offender who groped a 14-year-old girl when she was on the train home from school has been jailed for nine months.

Mahdi Mohammed pawed the youngster’s bottom as he stood next to her in a busy carriage late last year.

Now the 38-year-old faces deportation after previously being told he would be returned to his native Iraq by sentencing judges.

Mohammed, who has been convicted of child sex offences twice in the past, denied the allegation but was convicted following a retrial at Swindon Crown Court.

The young victim told the jury how she caught the train at Trowbridge station on the evening of November 10, heading towards Bradford on Avon.

As she stood in the carriage, which was rammed with Bath Rugby supporters heading for an evening kick-off, she became aware of someone touching her bum.

At first she thought it may have been accidental but when it happened again she realised it was deliberate, and froze with fear.

She said Mohammed gave a scary smirk at her as he touched her, as the train took her home through the darkness.

When she got off she immediately phoned her mum in floods of tears to tell her what had happened.

The police were informed and after scanning CCTV of the journey they were able to grab images of the offender.

Following an appeal in the press in January this year a member of the public on a bus in Bristol recognised Mohammed as the wanted man.

The police were immediately contacted and he was arrested on the vehicle before it reached his stop.

When he was questioned he accepted it was him on the train, saying he had gone to Trowbridge to buy a computer for a friend.

On the journey home he said he had not touched the girl, insisting his hands had been in his front pockets the whole time.

Mohammed, of Bristol, denied sexual assault but was found guilty following a trial.

The jury heard that he had twice been convicted of sex offences against young girls when he was living in Peterborough.

In 2013 he was jailed for 27 months for a series of offences against 13-year-old girls he befriended at a play park, trying to put his hand down the trousers of one of them.

The charismatic man plied them with mobile phone top-up vouchers, and spoke to them on Facebook to gain their trust.

He even spoke to his victims as they made their way to and from school, dressed in their uniform, and then blamed the girls for ‘making themselves available’ to him.

Eight years earlier he was put on an ASBO for making lewd comments to girls as young as ten.

March 2013

‘Appalling’: Failed asylum seeker jailed for child sex assaults

Iraqi-born sex offender Mahdi Mohammed was jailed for 27 months at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday (4 March) after admitting a string of child sex offences.

The court heard Mohammed (33) of New Road, Peterborough, met his victims in a city park, and plied them with mobile phone top-up vouchers, and spoke to them on Facebook to gain their trust.

He even spoke to his victims as they made their way to and from school, dressed in their uniform – and then blamed the girls for ‘making themselves available’ to him.

The court was also told he had been given an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) at the court in 2005, when he pleaded guilty to making lewd comments to girls as young as 10.

At the hearing eight years ago he was banned from approaching young girls, and the court was also told his asylum application had failed, and he would be returned to Iraq.

A spokesman for The Border Agency confirmed to the PT this week that Mohammed had been granted leave to stay in the country shortly after the 2005 hearing, and was legally staying in Peterborough when he committed the latest offences.

But the spokesman said the agency would not comment on why Mohammed had been allowed to stay in the country after the court had been told in 2005 that he would be deported.

Today, Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said it was ‘appalling’ Mohammed had not been deported in 2005.

He said: “This is a shocking case and is typical of the previous government’s lax and dangerous policy of unrestricted immigration. This man should have been removed from the UK in 2005 and the fact that he wasn’t is appalling.

“I will be writing to the Immigration Minister to ensure that he is permanently removed from our country after his prison sentence is served.”

The Border Agency spokesman confirmed that Mohammed would be deported at the end of the sentence.

Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, said: “This is an appalling case, and serious questions need to be asked as to why despite the asylum application having previously failed, the UK Border Agency allowed him to stay.The sooner this man is deported the better.”

On Monday, Claire Matthews, prosecuting, told the court: “In May 2011 a witness described seeing the defendant hanging around a playground in Peterborough. He met with two 13 year old girls in the park in 2010, and started chatting to them.

“They met on a number of occasions, and he gave them phone top-up vouchers, and offered to take them home.

“He invited them to his house, and tried to put his hand down one of the girl’s trousers. He also tried to put his hand down the girl’s trousers in the park on several occasions.”

Miss Matthews said he also showed the girls pornographic TV channels, and encouraged them to take part in sexual activity.

The court was told he also sent indecent Facebook messages to one of the girls, and even posted a memory stick to her home and asked her to put pictures of herself on it.

However, he was arrested after the mother of one of the girls discovered one of the messages on a computer. Miss Matthews also said Mohammed had sexually touched a 15-year-old in another park, and had 19 indecent images of children on a computer.

Lawrence Bruce, defending, said: “He came to the UK in 2000, having fled persecution from Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

“Although there was inappropriate suggestions, they were all re-buffed. Admitting guilt publicly has been a very difficult process, and has involved the loss of faith, character and reputation.”

A letter from Mohammed was passed to Judge Madge, and he said: “The letter is disturbing in two senses – firstly the account of treatment of your family in Iraqi Kurdistan, but also allegations that young girls were making themselves available in a sexual manner to you.”

Sentencing, Judge Madge described his behaviour as ‘sophisticated offending’ and said: “The period covered in the indictment runs for almost two years, between August 2010 and mid-2012. The behaviour at the beginning appears to have been grooming.”

Mohammed had pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of attempting to sexually touch child under 16 and one count of possession of indecent images.

Factfile: Mahdi Mohammed’s previous offences

Mahdi Mohammed appeared at Peterborough Crown Court in September 2005 after pleading guilty to using insulting language towards young girls in the city. Tim Brown, prosecuting, said the incident with the girls involved Mohammed making lewd remarks to the two “very young children”.

He said: “There was an incident that Mr Mohammed did say something to the girls that was inappropriate.”

Mr Brown also told Peterborough Crown Court that Mohammed’s application for asylum had been refused and he would be returned to his country. Mr Brown added the girls were out playing at 9.30pm on August 31, 2004, when Mohammed, then aged 25, began talking to them. He said: “The defendant spoke to the girls and suggested that they should commit various acts.” One of those acts suggested by Mohammed included one of the girls taking her trousers down, the court heard.

Angela Rafferty, defending, said that Mohammed claimed he was commenting on the behaviour of the girls.

But, she added: “He accepts he shouldn’t have said that to a child.”

The court was told he initially faced charges of affray and inciting two girls under 13 years of age to engage in sexual activity, but those were dropped after a psychological report was carried out. The court was also told that following reports of the incident, an angry mob turned up at his home, threatening him with weapons.

Miss Rafferty told the court: “There was nearly a situation where he was lynched where he lived.

“Many people came to his home with weapons in a state of high agitation.”

Judge Nicholas Coleman sentenced him to 80 hours of community punishment and a 12-month rehabilitation order.

Mohammed was also given an anti-social behaviour order preventing him from approaching young girls for five years.