Thursday, June 30, 2016
- Predator targeted woman late at night after driving around central Bristol
- He said he was a taxi driver but attempted to rape the woman en route
- Police caught him after woman convinced him to give her his number
- He has now been jailed for more than five years as victim warns others
CCTV images show the moment a man posing as a taxi driver prowled the streets looking for a victim.
Mohammed Afzal drove around Bristol city centre pretending to be a cab driver to give a woman a lift home.
But the 23-year-old predator drove his victim to another location and attempted to rape her after giving her drugs.
This is the car of sex offender Mohammed Afzal as he prowls the streets of Bristol looking for a victim
Afzal is shown getting out of a car before he approached his victim and offered her a taxi ride home
After Afzal was jailed yesterday, police released the CCTV images showing him driving around the streets on the night of the attack.
Bristol Crown Court heard Afzal, of no fixed abode, picked up the 22-year-old woman in the early hours of April 14 before attempting to rape her.
The woman managed to get her attacker's phone number, which she gave to police after managing to escape him.
Officers pretended to be the woman to arrange a meeting with Afzal, before arresting him and charging him with attempted rape.
Afzal has now admitted the charge and was jailed for five years and four months, with an additional three-year extended licence, this week.
Following the hearing, the victim said: 'People like him exist. You don't think it's going to happen to you.
'You're strong and you're fine, but it does happen and you can have your strength taken away from you.'
Afzal has now been jailed for five years
Speaking after the sentencing, Acting Detective Sergeant Laura Miller said: 'Afzal posed as a taxi driver and can be seen on CCTV footage driving around Bristol city centre looking for someone to target.
'He drove past the victim before turning his car around. He then parks nearby and runs towards the victim, leading her towards his vehicle.
'He drives her to an unknown location and attempts to rape her, plying her with illegal drugs including opiates and amphetamine during this horrific ordeal.
'The victim was dropped off at her home several hours later but crucially asked for his phone number, which he gave her.
'She reported the incident to police later the same day and we took the decision to message Afzal, posing as the victim and arranging to meet up.
'He attended this meeting and was arrested and later charged.'
Afzal was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
muslim Businessman, 40, who went on a 7,000 mile 'rape tour' of Britain’s universities to target women
- Tahir Nazir of Glasgow used university events to sneak into student halls
- A woman in Manchester awoke to find him licking her and attempting rape
- In Cardiff he was seen on top of a woman as she lay drunk at student hall
- Convicted of six offences including sexual assault and jailed for 12 years
Jailed: Tahir Nazir from Glasgow used university events to sneak into student halls and homes
A businessman who went on a 7,000 mile ‘rape tour’ of Britain’s universities targeting women rendered helpless by cheap Freshers’ Week drink promotions was jailed for 12 years today.
Tahir Nazir from Glasgow used university events to sneak into UK student halls and homes in the hope of targeting drunk undergraduates.
One woman who had been to a Halloween party in Manchester woke up to find 40-year-old Nazir half-naked, licking her neck and trying to rape her, while in Cardiff he was seen lying on top of a woman as she lay drunk at student halls.
At Manchester Crown Court he was convicted of trespass with intent to commit an offence, sexual assault, attempted rape, and three charges of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Nazir, who claims to be the boss of a hospitality and entertainment firm, was arrested last year after a group of female undergraduates reported someone trying the doors to their room.
Police found empty packets of Viagra in his car and a fake ID claiming he was student at Glasgow University. Prosecutors said he had driven 7,000 miles on a tour of university towns Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol and Cardiff, during which he slept in his car.
Nazir had conducted surveillance on student activities at Victoria Halls of Residence at the University of Manchester, taking 38 images on his mobile phone.
He also carried out internet searches for ‘high school girls’, ‘Freshers’ Week’ and ‘Swansea University Students Union’.
Nazir would swallow Viagra tablets and snort cocaine in a bid to heighten his sexual appetite.
The court heard he had been a student himself in the 1990s but never graduated despite enrolling on business studies or IT degrees at the University of Dundee, University of the West of Scotland at Paisley and the University of Strathclyde.
He claimed to a ‘serial entrepreneur and investor in people’ providing ‘Hollywood-inspired’ luxury services in the UK and Dubai.
But the divorcee had a ‘sexual obsession’ with students and researched college events where he knew undergraduates would be drunk and incapable of fighting off his advances.
Henry Blackshaw, prosecuting, said: ‘Evidence shows him travelling from Scotland down into England, through England and down into Wales - all part of sexually predatory behaviour targeted at university undergraduate females.
‘It was not just targeting them in general - but targeting them within accommodation.
‘During the dead of night he broke into accommodation using one device or another, and then having done that, on two of the occasions, sexually attacked females who are asleep in their beds.
‘Freshers’ Week was a time of year when students are full of excitement, getting drunk, no doubt providing easier targets.’
In the early hours of September 22 last year a visitor to a shared house in the Cathays student neighbourhood of Cardiff awoke to find Nazir lying on top of her ‘very drunk’ friend after he broke in through a bathroom window.
He and the victim fell out of bed, causing her to bang her head and although he fled the scene, he returned shortly afterwards to pester and proposition the woman and her friend before other housemates forced him to leave.
On November 1 Nazir sneaked into New Lawrence House student halls in Hulme, Manchester, behind one of the students.
He tried to follow her as she staggered towards her room, but she shut the door before he could get in.
He then stalked the corridors, trying doors, in search of another victim.
Shortly afterwards a young woman woke up to find cocaine-fuelled Nazir licking her neck, naked from the waist down and ‘thrusting himself against her’.
He was forced out of the room, but he tried to get into other rooms in what prosecutors said was a ‘sexually frustrated and aroused state’.
Nazir was arrested on November 6 last year after girls in a shared house in Fallowfield reported someone was trying the doors to their room, and began texting and Facebook messaging each other about it at 4.40am. He was linked to the other offences by DNA.
Nazir denied all the allegations in the trial, saying he had been invited back to the halls by female students in Cardiff and Hulme, and that he was looking for a drug dealer who had ripped him off in Fallowfield.
He claimed his tour of Britain was a motoring ‘trip of a lifetime’ saying he loved driving and was ‘inspired by Gothic architecture’.
He said he had fake university ID for getting discounts, and used Viagra to give him ‘energy’ for clubbing. Nazir was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for life.
Heavily-pregnant woman was saved by her breast implants when her boyfriend tried to stab her to death because his mother didn't approve of his relationship with non-Muslim
- Babur Karamat Raja, 41, stabbed Natalie Queiroz in the street while she was 36 weeks pregnant
- She suffered wounds to abdomen but had baby girl by caesarian section
- He has now been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the horrific attack
- Court heard that his victim's life was probably saved by her breast implants
Disguise: Babur Raja was caught on CCTV with a knife in his back pocket shortly before trying to kill a woman in March this year
A businessman who tried to murder his pregnant partner in the street was today jailed for 18 years after a court heard he was 'tipped over the edge' because his mother was angry about him dating a non-Muslim.
Babur Karamat Raja was caught on camera wearing a disguise and carrying a knife in his back pocket moments before he attacked his victim in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.
He stabbed Natalie Queiroz, 40, with a large carving knife in her chest and stomach before trying to slash her throat and wrists.
The court heard that her £5,000 breast implants probably saved her life by getting in the way of the knife.
An hour before the assault Raja, 41, had telephoned Ms Queiroz and arranged to meet her at a bank to transfer some money and asked her what way she would be going into town.
She was attacked as she walked past the car park of Trinity Hill Baptist Church, near the centre of Sutton Coldfield, at 3.15pm on Friday, March 4, and passers-by tried to help.
Five people wrestled him to the ground but he broke free and tried to slash the woman's throat and wrists before he was eventually arrested when one bystander flagged down a passing police patrol car.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Raja had been forced to choose between his conservative Muslim mother and the 'love of his life' Ms Queiroz.
Jane Humphryes QC said in mitigation that this family turmoil 'tipped him over the edge' leading to a temporary mental illness or 'adjustment disorder', leaving him with little memory of what he had done.
She said: 'His mother had not been happy he was in a relationship with a white woman, and told him he must leave her or she would not be in contact.
'This man of impeccable character is driven literally to distraction, forced by his own mother to choose between her and his chosen partner and their unborn baby.'
Couple: Raja tried to kill his partner Natalie Queiroz, right, in March this year
Jail: Raja was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the brutal attack on Ms Queiroz )
Prosecuting barrister Benjamin Aina QC described how if Raja had plunged his knife just 2mm further into the abdomen of his victim 'it would have killed the baby'.
The court heard the child was born unharmed and was now doing well.
Sentencing Raja for his 'merciless' assault on Ms Queiroz, Judge Simon Drew QC said: 'Once you chose your mother over your partner and child, you resolved not only to terminate your relationship, but to terminate them.'
He added: 'This was a deliberate, pre-meditated attack designed to kill and destroy your partner and unborn child.'
As well as his 18-year prison term, Raja will have to spend another four years on licence.
Last month he appeared via video link at Birmingham Crown Court where he admitted attempting to murder Ms Queiroz.
He also pleaded guilty to attempted child destruction and possessing a knife in a public place.
Raja denied attempting to murder good Samaritan John Mitchell, 31, but admitted the lesser charge of unlawful wounding.
He also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Anthony Smith, 69, one of the other men who tackled Raja.
Jane Humphryes QC, defending said: 'He would like to say to the court his sincere apologies to the victim and her baby, and to the people who assisted him.
'He wishes to display his very sincere remorse and perhaps that is displayed by his early guilty pleas.
'He made immediate admissions at the police station through his psychiatrist, and he has pleaded at the first possible opportunity.
'There needs to be a pre-sentence report as to if this needs to be a life imprisonment sentence or a determinate sentence.
'The pre-sentence report should assess the dangerousness and a psychiatric response.
'He is of previous good character, and has only previously been cautioned for an offence of dishonesty.'
The crown did not proceed with a further count of attempted murder against Mr Mitchell, which Raja denied.
Prosecutor Benjamin Aina QC said: 'John Mitchell was one of the brave members of the public who went to the aid of this young lady while she was being attacked.
'While he accepts he came at Mr Mitchell with a knife, his main aim was to kill this woman and he did not accept that he had intended to kill him.
'A plea to unlawfully wounding Mr Mitchell is acceptable in these circumstances.'
In a statement to police the victim said she 'couldn't believe what Bobby was doing.' She told officers how she 'pleaded with him not to kill her'.
VICTIM: 'COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED AND TOTALLY UNEXPECTED'
West Midlands Police revealed Raja was initially tackled by Mr Mitchell and Mr Smith who tried to grab the knife from him.
A police spokesman said: 'They grabbed Raja, wrestling with him to try and get hold of the knife from his hands.
'A third passer-by - a 44-year-old man - then ran over and joined the fight.
He described kicking Raja more than 20 times in the head and body in a desperate bid to stop the stabbing.
'Between them they were able to drag him off his girlfriend as an 18-year-old lad then came and grabbed his hoodie to pull him further away, along with his three friends, all aged 16.'
Detective Inspector Ian Ingram, who led the investigation, said: 'This was an utterly brutal and unprovoked attack which was particularly disturbing by virtue of the fact that it happened to a completely innocent woman, in broad daylight, in front of dozens of people.
'If it wasn't for the quick actions and bravery of those members of the public who put their own lives on the line to save the woman and her daughter, this could have ended much differently and may well have been a murder investigation. I truly commend them for what they did that day.
'We still don't understand what drove Babur Raja to commit this dreadful crime but I'm pleased he's saved everyone the ordeal of a full trial by pleading guilty today.
My hope now this case has concluded is that everyone who was affected by the attack can put it behind them and move forward with their lives.'
Land Registry records show Raja lived in a £400,000 detached house in Sutton Coldfield,
At a previous hearing, the court heard how the victim believed she was being robbed when she was attacked by Raja who ambushed her from behind.
Prosecutor Shahzad Imam said: 'She left home and was walking down the road when she saw a man walking towards her at pace.
'His arm grabbed her and she thought she was being robbed. She saw a knife come out and was stabbed several times to the chest and fell to the ground.
Ms Queiroz (pictured) was attacked with a large carving knife, stabbed in her chest and stomach before her ex-partner tried to slash her throat and wrists. The court heard that her £5,000 breast implants probably saved her life by getting in the way of the knife
'She saw her attacker was wearing a hooded top. She staggered down the road and he tried to slash her throat. She remembers the police attending and him being arrested.
'Several eye witnesses say they saw a man attacking a woman.
'One man, Mr Mitchell, tried to intervene and grab the knife but he was stabbed to the hand and the defendant tried to stab him several times to the abdomen while members of the public called for help.
'Another person (Anthony Smith) suffered injury as well.
'The defendant was arrested and the victim was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition where she was given an induced birth.'
The court heard the woman's baby was healthy and back home with her mother.
- Anthony Clarkson jailed for two-and-a-half years at Preston Crown Court
- Widower, 59, had falsely marketed eggs as free range, inspectors found
- Kerdine Ahmedi, 46, got two months less for sexual assault at same court
- Victim wept in the gallery and told the court the attack 'destroyed her life'
Kerdine Ahmedi (pictured) has sparked anger after he was given a shorter prison stretch than a farmer who mislabelled his barn eggs as 'free range'
A victims' support group has blasted the justice system after a farmer selling barn eggs as 'free-range' was jailed for longer than a serial sex offender in the same court.
Widower Anthony Clarkson, 59, was hauled before Preston Crown Court this week after being convicted of fraudulently marketing the barn eggs as free-range.
On Monday he was jailed for two-and-a-half years after evidence from the egg standard inspectors from the Animal Plant Health Authority (APHA).
In the same court on Wednesday, serial sex offender Kerdine Ahmedi, 46, was jailed for two months less than the farmer despite admitting sexually assaulting a terrified woman.
In a victim personal statement, the unnamed woman - who sobbed in the public gallery during the sentencing hearing - said the attack had destroyed her life.
The court heard Ahmedi has a previous conviction for indecent exposure and breached his sexual offences prevention order on five separate occasions since it was made in 2011.
The disparity in the sentences has been criticised by solicitor Rachel Horman, a board director at Safenet, which runs women's refuges.
She said: 'It seems that financial crimes or fraud are treated more seriously than violent crimes against women.
'This kind of situation sends out the wrong message to perpetrators and victims of violence. Sadly this happens quite a lot.
'I have seen domestic violence cases where in order to get that kind of sentence, the perpetrator could have attempted murder.
'I deal with serious cases of violence against women where the defendant doesn't get a penalty anywhere near this.
'It's not just an overhaul of sentencing guidelines that is needed - often there are powers there to impose a heavier sentence which people do not use. It's a change in attitude.'
Clarkson was prosecuted after claiming free range eggs had been produced at his farm in Whittingham, near Preston, when they were in fact barn eggs he bought in from another of his firms.
Judge Mark Brown (left) sentenced Ahmadi to two years and three months, which is two month less than what Judge James Adkin (right) gave farmer Anthony Clarkson
He operated a farm producing 'free-range eggs' and had an interest in another farm producing cheaper 'barn eggs'. He stamped both type of eggs with code indicating they were free range.
He was convicted of fraud by dishonestly making a false representation after a probe was launched by egg inspectors in 2014.
At his sentence hearing, his defence barrister Michael Maher said he appreciated it was a food fraud but remarked: 'It's not horse meat masquerading as fillet steak.'
A spokesman for Animal Plant Health Authority (APHA) defended the sentence saying it sends out a 'tough warning to food fraudsters.'
Sex offender Ahmedi forced himself on a woman who he knew the woman was drunk and feeling unwell, Preston Crown Court heard.
The woman's boyfriend had passed out at the kitchen table after drinking vodka which he feared may have been spiked.
She woke to feel a man behind her but when she realised it was not her boyfriend she tried to get away, as Ahmedi made sexual comments.
As she tried to get out of bed, Ahmedi put his arm around her waist and attacked her.
Unable to wake her boyfriend, the woman went to a friend's house and told her she had been assaulted.
She reported the attack the following day and Ahmedi, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to sexual assault.
The Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, said when sentencing: 'She made it clear at the very start that she wasn't interested and wanted you to stop immediately.
'However you continued. That must have been a very frightening and distressing experience for her. Your victim is present in court. She is obviously extremely distressed by what occurred to her.'
Algerian illegal immigrant, 28, who carried out a 10-day campaign of sex attacks on lone women on their doorsteps is jailed for eight years
- Mehdi Midani, 28, attacked eight women over a 10-day period in October
- He followed them home then groped them on doorstep in South London
- Midani was caught after a public CCTV appeal was issued by police
- He was convicted of sexual assault and common assault, and faces jail
Guilty: Mehdi Midani has been jailed for eight years after assaulting a string of women in South London
A serial sex attacker has been jailed for eight years after assaulting a string of women over a 10-day spree in South London just months after he arrived in the UK.
Algerian Mehdi Midani, 28, followed eight 'vulnerable' women as they walked home at night.
The former mechanic conducted a campaign of 'terror' across the Brixton Hill and Clapham areas of the capital, even attacking four women in the space of just four hours.
He was handed a sentence of 10 years with eight to be served in jail, two on licence following his release.
Passing sentence Judge Nicholas Madge said: 'You moved from one offence in an evening to two in an evening to four in an evening.
'You waited, watched and followed women.'
Judge Madge said one victim turned to see Midani 'grinning' at her while another caught him 'ducking behind a car' as he followed her.
'All these offences were committed against lone women during a 10-day period.
'On each day that you assaulted women you travelled from North London to Brixton or Clapham and then returned to North London after carrying out the assault.'
He added: 'The experience of this court is that sexual attacks on women by strangers in the street are rare. In that sense, London is a relatively safe city.
'However, courts will do all they can to keep it that way and to protect women by imposing long sentences upon anyone who attacks women, especially at night.'
Midani was convicted of six counts of sexual assault and one count of common assault in April and pleaded guilty to a further count of sexual assault at Inner London Crown Court.
The court heard that he entered Britain via Ireland after leaving his native Algeria and that his immigration sentence is currently 'unknown' - but it is believed he may have entered illegally and the Home Office will seek his deportation once he has been sentenced.
All of these women were vulnerable by nature of being alone. They were followed from areas that were busy into quiet, residential areas.
'Each of these women were targeted by this defendant as they emerged from tube stations.
'They were followed for some considerable distance as they made their way home but not attacked until they actually got to the doorstep.'
In one instance he 'forced his way into [the victim's] home and assaulted her in the hallway'.
One woman said in an impact statement her
privacy was invaded in a 'profoundly terrifying way' and that she now 'struggled to meet new friends'.
Another had a 'panic attack when a delivery man knocked on the door' while a further woman has stopped going to the gym before work as it is still dark.
At 9pm on October 22 last year he followed a woman up the road in Brixton before touching her backside and reaching up her dress, prompting her to shout: 'What the f***, I don't know you!'
Four days later he attacked two women in the space of an hour - he put his hand between a woman's leg then ran off, and later followed another victim home, dragged her to the floor and tried to kiss her.
Two days later Midani attacked four women in a four-hour period.
At 7.20pm Midani followed a 28-year-old woman as she walked home in Brixton, before grabbing her inside the communal hallway of her property and groping her breasts.
Midani then carried out the common assault by grabbing a 29-year-old woman near her home at 9.24pm.
At 10.20pm he pushed a 31-year-old woman into a block of flats and sexually assaulted her before running away, and an hour later put his hand up the skirt of a 32-year-old.
Three days later on October 31 Midani attacked a woman in the same area, slapping her on the buttocks before fleeing when she called for help.
Detective Constable Tony Carr of the Metropolitan Police said: 'Midani caused enormous fear and distress to the local community as he carried out his spate of attacks, with four recorded in just one day.
'A public appeal was crucial to our investigation and led to information being provided that quickly led to Midani's arrest.
'I would like to thank the local community for their support and help during our inquiry and hope they are reassured by the news that Midani has now been convicted and faces imprisonment.'
Three other men who were arrested during the Scotland Yard investigation were released without charge and told they will face no further action.