Newcastle sexual predator jailed after attacking woman on her morning walk

He will serve four years behind bars.

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A 54-year-old man has been jailed for targeting a pedestrian on her morning walk on North Walbottle Road.

Sohail Ahmed, of Benwell Grove, was convicted of assault with intent to commit sexual offence and has been jailed for four years.

Last August, Ahmed grabbed his victim, placed a fleece over her head and dragged her to the ground.

The woman managed to fight off her attacker and flee the scene- phoning the police when she got home.

Police launched an investigation and found Ahmed’s discarded fleece nearby. Specialist forensics investigators tested it for DNA which led to his arrest.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the incident had significantly impacted her welfare and caused her physical pain and discomfort.

Sohail Ahmed was found guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual offence. Sohail Ahmed was found guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual offence.
Sohail Ahmed was found guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual offence.

It read: “I used to be confident and determined, I don’t think I’m likely to return to how I was. My sleep routine has changed and I have frequent nightmares.

“Although the injuries I sustained were relatively minor, I don’t believe the man that attacked me had the simple intention of assaulting me to cause such injuries; I believe he intended on sexually assaulting or raping me.

“He must have followed me for a long time and over a significant distance, and he chose to attack me at a location that, had he been able to do so, would have been well hidden from passing traffic by dense foliage.

“This was clearly intentional. The only reason he was not able to do so was because I fought back. I genuinely believe, had I not, his intention was to drag me into a nearby ditch, hidden from view, and sexually assault me. The thought of him doing this to me, or any other person, absolutely terrifies me.”

Detective Sergeant Lindsay Ravenhill, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim, and I hope knowing Sohail is now behind bars helps her to begin to move forward.

“The details of this case are very concerning. We know that Sohail deliberately approached his victim while she was out alone, targeting her in an area where he believed no one would see or hear what unfolded and even used an item of clothing to obstruct her view.

“This predatory behaviour has no place anywhere, let alone in our community and thanks to the support and cooperation of the victim, we were able to present a case before the court, resulting in a dangerous man being jailed.

“Our message is clear to anyone who has been a victim of a sexual assault – we are here for you so please get in touch.”

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