Amine Chahine jailed after sexually assaulting woman on Charminster Road
A man has been jailed for four years after sexually assaulting a young woman.
Amine Chahine, 19, approached the 20-year-old from behind as she withdrew money from a Tesco Express cashpoint in Charminster Road at around 5am on December 6 last year.
CCTV footage played to Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday showed Chahine, who had been drinking at the Havana bar, move very close to the woman and place his hand on her rear, causing her to move away quickly.
Minutes later she returned to the machine, but the defendant, who came to the UK from Syria three years ago and required an Arabic translator for the hearing, waited until two pedestrians had passed before again pressing his hand against her.
The victim fled the scene for Stewart Road opposite. She later told police: “It felt like he was definitely running, chasing me.
“I then got out of breath and slowed down. I didn’t realise he was right behind me.”
Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott said Chahine, of Wandsworth Road, London, stuck his hand down the victim’s shorts and underwear, pushing her against a low wall and causing her cuts and grazes.
She was eventually able to get free and, by banging on a door, alert a resident who opened a window causing her assailant to flee.
Chahine, who was tracked down after an appeal in the Daily Echo, initially told police he had been approached by a young woman who flirted with him and later began shouting when they neared what he thought was her home.
He later admitted one count of sexual assault and another of assault by penetration. He has no previous convictions.
In mitigation, Robert Grey read a statement his client had made on the morning of the hearing, saying: “She hadn’t done anything. If they give me imprisonment I will accept it.
“I have never done anything like this before. I hate myself.”
He said that since the attack Chahine, who had applied for refugee status while living with the Syrian community in London, had taken steps to deal with his drug problem and had been learning English in prison.
“I do urge you not to pass a sentence of such length it leaves this young man from a foreign country feeling he has little hope,” he said.
Sentencing, Judge Peter Johnson said: “This was an appalling attack on a vulnerable young woman on her own at night in the centre of Charminster.”
He said: “She should be free to go out and enjoy herself. You have changed that and this will live with her for many years.”
He added: “Another body will decide whether it is appropriate for you to remain in this country after you have served this custodial sentence.”
Chahine was ordered to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.