Syrian man jailed after sexual assault that left woman too scared to go out at night

St Albans Crown Court

St Albans Crown Court

First published in News
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A Syrian restaurant worker who stalked a young woman through Watford before grabbing her bottom and exposing himself was jailed for two and a half years yesterday.

Mohamad Sarouji, 20, took hold of his victim in Victoria Passage in the town and said repeatedly: "Come on. Come on."

The victim, who is in her 20s, told the police that when she saw him with the fly on his jeans unzipped she thought she was going to be raped, St Albans crown court was told.

Prosecutor Michael Williams said the woman had left Cameo night club just before 2am on a Tuesday morning, having drunk half a pint of beer. "Her route took her through Watford town centre and she walked past Rooster's chicken shop where the defendant was sitting, having a meal.

"CCTV showed he followed her for about seven minutes - sometimes walking on the other side of the road.  She was not aware she was being followed until she went into Victoria Passage and heard footsteps behind her," he said.

The woman said: "I kept walking quickly and tried to get away from him. I felt him touch my bottom. I turned around and pushed him away. He grabbed my arms above the elbow. The fly on his jeans was undone and he exposed his penis. He was aroused and said: 'Come here. Come here' over and over again."

She said she started shouting out the name of her landlord who lived nearby and, after about 30 seconds, Sarouji fled.

Mr Williams said that as a result of the assault the woman was too scared to go out at night.

The police traced Sarouji after trawling through CCTV footage and arrested him. He made full admissions saying that he had become sexually aroused when the woman walked past. He followed her saying that he had wanted her to give him oral sex.

Sarouji, who was aided by an Arabic interpreter, of Market Street, Watford, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the woman on October 15 last year.

Stuart Sprawson, defending, said Sarouji was of previous good character and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He said there was no indication of significant planning.

He said: "This was a coincidence to start with. He had not sought out his victim. He has shown remorse through his guilty plea. He accepts he was the person responsible from the outset."

He said Sarouji was immature and mixed up sexually. He also suffers with a genetic liver disorder that caused the death of his sister when she was aged just 17.

Mr Sprawson said he was staying in the town's Travelodge while waiting for accommodation from Watford Council.

Jailing him, Judge Stephen Gullick said: "Young women are entitled to walk the street of our towns and cities in safety without them being molested and sexually assaulted by men such as you.

"You targeted her as someone appropriate to satisfy your sexual needs.  It was an unpleasant, unwelcome and unjustified experience. It is an extremely serious offence."

The judge said a probation officer had assessed him as being of a high risk of re-offending. He must sign on the Sex Offender Register for life.

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Comments (9)

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10:54am Fri 20 Jun 14

Wooter bout that! says...

Yet another great advert for multiculturalism. Why isn't this pervert being deported?
Yet another great advert for multiculturalism. Why isn't this pervert being deported? Wooter bout that!
  • Score: 27

11:46am Fri 20 Jun 14

G_Whiz says...

Poor bloke - he must feel so confused!

Still, he is lucky in one way. Any other country would deport him. You know, to protect it's citizens. This Government and the last, seem happy to put us more at risk.

And as for Stuart Sprawson, What a Joke! - will he take some blame for this man's next poor victim when he is let out early? doubt it - anything for the cash eh!

Obviously i am in a minority as Watford voted for the Liberals, but surely even the most ardent Liberal could not stick up for this fella, agree to the money we have thrown at him and will continue to throw at him?
Poor bloke - he must feel so confused! Still, he is lucky in one way. Any other country would deport him. You know, to protect it's citizens. This Government and the last, seem happy to put us more at risk. And as for Stuart Sprawson, What a Joke! - will he take some blame for this man's next poor victim when he is let out early? doubt it - anything for the cash eh! Obviously i am in a minority as Watford voted for the Liberals, but surely even the most ardent Liberal could not stick up for this fella, agree to the money we have thrown at him and will continue to throw at him? G_Whiz
  • Score: 18

11:57am Fri 20 Jun 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

Good old UK giving safe haven to criminals from all over the world!
Good old UK giving safe haven to criminals from all over the world! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 21

12:24pm Fri 20 Jun 14

garston tony says...

I agree he should be deported once his sentence has been served (but human rights laws will say that he cant be as his country is at war and he'll be in danger. Thanks Labour for that one) but a) he does not represent all the immigrants to this country who are often honest and hard working and b) yeah, like we dont have home grown scum do we
I agree he should be deported once his sentence has been served (but human rights laws will say that he cant be as his country is at war and he'll be in danger. Thanks Labour for that one) but a) he does not represent all the immigrants to this country who are often honest and hard working and b) yeah, like we dont have home grown scum do we garston tony
  • Score: -3

1:35pm Fri 20 Jun 14

G_Whiz says...

garston tony wrote:
I agree he should be deported once his sentence has been served (but human rights laws will say that he cant be as his country is at war and he'll be in danger. Thanks Labour for that one) but a) he does not represent all the immigrants to this country who are often honest and hard working and b) yeah, like we dont have home grown scum do we
A. We are not saying he represents all immigrants
B. Two wrongs don't make a right.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: I agree he should be deported once his sentence has been served (but human rights laws will say that he cant be as his country is at war and he'll be in danger. Thanks Labour for that one) but a) he does not represent all the immigrants to this country who are often honest and hard working and b) yeah, like we dont have home grown scum do we[/p][/quote]A. We are not saying he represents all immigrants B. Two wrongs don't make a right. G_Whiz
  • Score: 14

8:31pm Fri 20 Jun 14

crazyfrog says...

So this man gets to stay at the travel lodge hotel at the expense on the taxpayer? I know an Englishman made homeless had to sleep on the streets because the council wouldn't help him but this Man who can't even speak English without an interpreter let alone the fact that he hasn't paid any taxes gets to stay free of charge at a hotel whilst waiting council accommodation, this country never looks after it's own it makes my blood boil and as a taxpayer iam livid at who benefits from our taxes, it's perverse in fact, This poor woman had to suffer this assault what recompense will she get? Why not extradite this man and give any money he would of received to his victim as compensation? Well done watford council for taking a sex attacker in under your wing at our expense.
So this man gets to stay at the travel lodge hotel at the expense on the taxpayer? I know an Englishman made homeless had to sleep on the streets because the council wouldn't help him but this Man who can't even speak English without an interpreter let alone the fact that he hasn't paid any taxes gets to stay free of charge at a hotel whilst waiting council accommodation, this country never looks after it's own it makes my blood boil and as a taxpayer iam livid at who benefits from our taxes, it's perverse in fact, This poor woman had to suffer this assault what recompense will she get? Why not extradite this man and give any money he would of received to his victim as compensation? Well done watford council for taking a sex attacker in under your wing at our expense. crazyfrog
  • Score: 14

3:53pm Sat 21 Jun 14

HertsPeter says...

crazyfrog wrote:
So this man gets to stay at the travel lodge hotel at the expense on the taxpayer? I know an Englishman made homeless had to sleep on the streets because the council wouldn't help him but this Man who can't even speak English without an interpreter let alone the fact that he hasn't paid any taxes gets to stay free of charge at a hotel whilst waiting council accommodation, this country never looks after it's own it makes my blood boil and as a taxpayer iam livid at who benefits from our taxes, it's perverse in fact, This poor woman had to suffer this assault what recompense will she get? Why not extradite this man and give any money he would of received to his victim as compensation? Well done watford council for taking a sex attacker in under your wing at our expense.
Have to say that is several good points well made. The poor woman who was attacked will probably struggle with this for life, meanwhile I suspect therapy and rehabilitation programmes will be directed to this 'mixed up sexually' offender. Or could castration help him?
[quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: So this man gets to stay at the travel lodge hotel at the expense on the taxpayer? I know an Englishman made homeless had to sleep on the streets because the council wouldn't help him but this Man who can't even speak English without an interpreter let alone the fact that he hasn't paid any taxes gets to stay free of charge at a hotel whilst waiting council accommodation, this country never looks after it's own it makes my blood boil and as a taxpayer iam livid at who benefits from our taxes, it's perverse in fact, This poor woman had to suffer this assault what recompense will she get? Why not extradite this man and give any money he would of received to his victim as compensation? Well done watford council for taking a sex attacker in under your wing at our expense.[/p][/quote]Have to say that is several good points well made. The poor woman who was attacked will probably struggle with this for life, meanwhile I suspect therapy and rehabilitation programmes will be directed to this 'mixed up sexually' offender. Or could castration help him? HertsPeter
  • Score: 3

12:56am Sun 22 Jun 14

crazyfrog says...

The main question that should be asked is the chief executive of watford borough council Many Lewis going to publicly apologise to the victim and the people of watford for hosting a sex attacker from Syria at our expense? I think we as taxpayers deserve an explanation into why this sex attacker was being provided with board and lodgings in a watford Hotel at our expense !
The main question that should be asked is the chief executive of watford borough council Many Lewis going to publicly apologise to the victim and the people of watford for hosting a sex attacker from Syria at our expense? I think we as taxpayers deserve an explanation into why this sex attacker was being provided with board and lodgings in a watford Hotel at our expense ! crazyfrog
  • Score: 6

1:20pm Mon 23 Jun 14

garston tony says...

crazyfrog wrote:
The main question that should be asked is the chief executive of watford borough council Many Lewis going to publicly apologise to the victim and the people of watford for hosting a sex attacker from Syria at our expense? I think we as taxpayers deserve an explanation into why this sex attacker was being provided with board and lodgings in a watford Hotel at our expense !
Because the council is obliged to under law maybe? You're shooting in the wrong direction there froggy, and yes whilst you may re direct to the actual government you'll probably want to take note that even their hands are tied thanks to EU law so i'm sure you'll move onto the next target which is Labour who not only willingly held out this countries hands to be tied but provided the rope with which to do so all the while telling us all that everything will be fine.

Oh, and in my many years experience the only people that dont get helped by local authorities when homeless tend to be those that put their own road blocks in the way.

Ideal world this chap would serve his sentence and then be sent back to Syria, thanks to Labour and their beloved Human Rights Act (what was Cherrie Blairs job again whilst Tone was PM?) again that can't be done so we're stuck with this specimen for as long as he wants to stick around which lets face it will be for the rest of his life probably.

Cheers New Labour
[quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: The main question that should be asked is the chief executive of watford borough council Many Lewis going to publicly apologise to the victim and the people of watford for hosting a sex attacker from Syria at our expense? I think we as taxpayers deserve an explanation into why this sex attacker was being provided with board and lodgings in a watford Hotel at our expense ![/p][/quote]Because the council is obliged to under law maybe? You're shooting in the wrong direction there froggy, and yes whilst you may re direct to the actual government you'll probably want to take note that even their hands are tied thanks to EU law so i'm sure you'll move onto the next target which is Labour who not only willingly held out this countries hands to be tied but provided the rope with which to do so all the while telling us all that everything will be fine. Oh, and in my many years experience the only people that dont get helped by local authorities when homeless tend to be those that put their own road blocks in the way. Ideal world this chap would serve his sentence and then be sent back to Syria, thanks to Labour and their beloved Human Rights Act (what was Cherrie Blairs job again whilst Tone was PM?) again that can't be done so we're stuck with this specimen for as long as he wants to stick around which lets face it will be for the rest of his life probably. Cheers New Labour garston tony
  • Score: 0

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