'Predatory' man jailed for sex attack on injured woman he pretended to help at tube station

Sharif Abbas Credit: Met Police

A "predatory" man who pretended to help an injured woman at a tube station before kidnapping and sexually assaulting her has been jailed for four years.

Unemployed Sharif Abbas put on a high-vis vest that he carried around with him and offered to help the 19-year-old commuter after she fell and cracked her head open at Bond Street tube station in 2019.

Instead, he took her to a basement where he sexually assaulted her.

He was convicted of kidnap and sexual assault on 20 December 2021, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

On Friday (15 July), Abbas, 31, of Nightingale Road, Haringey, was sentenced at the same court to serve four years in prison for sexual assault and four years for kidnap, concurrently.

The court heard that the teenager had fallen down a set of stairs at around 6am on 16 June 2019, as she walked between platforms at the station.

She made her way to another platform where, suffering from a broken wrist and a profusely bleeding head injury that exposed her skull, she sat down.

  • CCTV footage shows Sharif Abbas scouting a place to carry out the attack on the injured woman

Abbas offered to help, putting on the vest to give the impression he was a member of rail staff.

After telling her to wait for him, he scouted out an empty basement of a nearby building where he sexually assaulted her.

There, he had unknowingly triggered a silent alarm upon entering the basement.

Police arrived to find Abbas standing behind the injured teenager with his hands under her clothing and the fly of his jeans undone, the Metropolitan Police said.

Abbas was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and taken to a north London police station.

The victim was taken to a west London hospital where she underwent surgery for a broken wrist and received treatment to a serious head injury.

She has since made a full recovery from her injuries.

"I have no doubt that had they (the police) not attended in that moment, you (Abbas) would have gone on to commit a more serious sexual assault," the judge told Abbas.

The high-vis vest that he wore was one that he had used when he was employed, some two years previously, conducting bus passenger surveys.

Abbas told detectives that he carried it with him to use if he went running or in case he came across "an accident or something".

Detective Constable Nigel Pacquette, the investigating officer from the Central West Command Unit, described Abbas as "calculating and predatory".

He said: “The young lady targeted by Abbas has been incredibly brave, determined and patient throughout this investigation and the court proceedings.

“She no longer lives in the UK, and due to Abbas’s not guilty plea, was compelled to return to Britain and quarantine in order to take part in the trial process.

"I applaud her actions to help ensure that other women are spared the perverse attentions of this man."

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