Attacker given four years but has fled the UK

Sohail Feeroz
Sohail Feeroz
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A SECURITY guard who sexually assaulted a 50-year-old woman at Barclays bank in Towcester has been jailed for four years in his absence last Friday, June 29.

Sohail Feeroz, 26, disappeared soon after being charged with sexual assault, and is believed to have fled to Pakistan.

He was convicted by a jury at Northampton Crown Court, in his absence, of forcing himself upon a cleaner at Barclays’ branch in Watling Street, Towcester, on July 25, 2011.

Sarah Gaunt, prosecuting, said Feeroz and a cleaner were locked inside the branch while she was working when he followed her into the ladies toilets.

She said: “She will tell you he began behaving in such a way that caused her unease. He asked if he could be her boyfriend and she said ‘no’.

“He then asked whether she had a boyfriend and she said she did, but she will tell you that’s not true, she had said it to put him off. She then went into the ladies but was followed.

“In the privacy of the toilet, the defendant attacked her. He pushed her up against the sink and pushed his legs against hers. She could tell he was aroused.

“He said ‘Come on, let me’ and tried to pull her trousers down but was unsuccessful because she fought him. He said he would kill her if she said anything.”

The court heard the woman, who cannot be named, managed to flee to a nearby pub and when medically examined later, a doctor found injuries consistent with her account.

When arrested, Feeroz said his hand print had been found on the sink in the ladies toilets as he used them for his ablutions which are required before praying.

Feeroz, of Birmingham, was found unanimously guilty and a four-year prison sentence was imposed, which will be served should he ever be arrested inside the EU.

Judge Sylvia De Bertodano, who praised the victim’s courage for giving evidence in court, said: “This was clearly terrifying for a woman, who was locked in, to face a man employed to protect the building and was in a position of trust and by implication employed to protect her. It was degrading to do this to a woman much older than he was.

“She was convinced he would rape her and it’s easy to see why. He was much larger than she was, there were physical injuries and he threatened to kill her if she reported it.

“It’s clear there must be significant on-going psychological effects and will be something which will stay with her for a very long time.”