Jailed: Homeless alcoholic who sexually assaulted and robbed woman in Dagenham

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: Ken Mears

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A homeless alcoholic who sexually assaulted a young woman under a railway footbridge in Dagenham after she told him she had a boyfriend was jailed today (Monday).

Adef Hamid, 25, pushed his 18-year-old victim to the ground, forcing one hand under her trousers and the other over her mouth to prevent her screaming for help.

When the woman fought back, cutting him on the lip, he grabbed her mobile phone and walked away, only to be caught the next day openly trying to sell the stolen device.

When interviewed, he answered no comment to police questions but later claimed she had touched her private parts as a come-on when he approached her on the footbridge between Reede Road and Blackborne Road.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Hamid first spotted the woman as she walked to the gym the morning of September 6.

He waited on the footbridge until she finished her workout at about midday, when he unsuccessfully tried to strike up a conversation above the train tracks.

He asked if she had a partner. She rejected his advances and kept walking.

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Undeterred, he followed her over the footbridge, shoved her down the stairs and assaulted her in broad daylight.

In a statement read in court, the woman said her attacker “changed the way I viewed the world”.

“Prior to the attack I would have described myself as a positive, outgoing person,” she said, adding how she now wakes up “scared and full of fear”.

Hamid, an Eritrean asylum seeker, pleaded guilty to one count each of sexual assault and robbery at his first hearing on October 2.

He admitted having a problem with drinking and gambling, and suffered a “traumatic childhood” where he still “has no idea what has happened to his parents” in his troubled home country, said Zarah Dickinson, defending.

Judge Nicholas Huskinson said Hamid had shown a lack of empathy for his “alarming” actions.

He sentenced him to six years in jail for each count to run concurrently, reduced to four years given his guilty plea, with a four-year extended licence period because he poses a “significant risk of serious harm to the public”, according to the judge.

Hamid must also pay a victim surcharge of £170.