Saturday 16 December 2017

Man jailed for sexual assault on girl on bus

Nicola Donnelly

A Rush man has been jailed for eight months for sexually assaulting a girl on a public bus by touching her inappropriately on the breast and leg.

Murad Khandokar (43) was also jailed for a further four months for harassing the girl on different occasions prior to sexually assaulting her.

Judge Dermot Dempsey said he has no option but to jail the defendant as he put the victim through hell for a period of time and has shown no remorse.

A Probation Report handed into Swords District Court court stated the defendant pleaded guilty but denied responsibility for his actions.

The Probation Report said Khandokar claimed it was 'all accidental and the injured party facilitated it.'

Judge Dempsey said the defendant has shown no remorse, offered no apology to the victim and has shown a complete disregard.

'Not only does he deny responsibility but everyone is to blame bar himself. He can't say sorry now when the report reeks of denial,' said Judge Dempsey.

Addressing the court Khandokar claimed his 'English is not very good so maybe I did not explain it properly' to the Probation Services and accepted what he has done to her.

The court heard that while the teen was travelling home on a public bus in October 2015 she felt Khandokar's fingers touch her thigh while they were standing near the luggage shelf.

As she moved away from him, he edged closer to her and then touched his elbow off her chest.

The injured party alerted the bus driver to what had happened and he phoned gardai, the court heard.

She then sat down on a seat and Khandokar walked past a number of empty seats before sitting down beside her before gardai arrived on board.

The court also heard the injured party was harassed by the defendant on several different occasions prior to sexually assaulting her.

Gardai examined CCTV footage from the bus which showed the defendant sexually assaulting the injured party.

Khandokar, of Glenn Ribh in Rush pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the injured party on the bus in October 2015.

He further pleaded guilty to harassing her on dates unknown between January 1 and October 7, 2015.

Defence barrister Bernard Stobie said the defendant was 'confused about what happened.'

'But on seeing the CCTV he accepts it,' said Mr Stobie.

He said the 43-year-old, who is originally from Bangladesh, came to Ireland with his wife in 2006 and is currently unemployed.

'He suffers depression and has fought drink and cannabis problems,' he said, asking Judge Dempsey to consider the view of the Probation Services that they want to continue to work with him in an effort for him to really understand what happened.

Addressing the court the injured party said the defendant has 'changed me and my life' in the space of a year.

'I am now afraid of using public transport. I am extremely anxious and I had to bring my mother with me to court today as I am scared of him,' she said.

She said she is continuing to get counselling and now has to take private transport when she is going anywhere due to her fears.

The defendant told the court he does not understand why he did it. 'I accept what I did. I came here for my punishment and I can't sleep at night. I feel really bad and I am not drinking anymore,' he told Judge Dempsey.

Judge Dempsey imposed an eight month sentence for the sexual assault charge and imposed a four month sentence to run consecutively for the harassment charge and directed Khandokar be listed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Fingal Independent

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