'Monster' jailed for sickening sex attack on Sheffield woman
A sick Sheffield man has been jailed for five years, after he subjected a ‘vulnerable’ woman to a sexual assault that only came to an end when two passing men came to her aid.
Muhammad Hussain, 29, began following his victim, after she inadvertently made eye contact with him as she walked down the Wicker at just after 5pm on March 12 this year.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the young woman first became aware that she was being followed as she began to cross the Cobweb Bridge and heard the sound of someone running up behind her.
“She describes it as being strange, as if someone was trying to scare her. He grabbed her from behind,” said Megan Rhys, prosecuting.
Ms Rhys said Hussain, of Firshill Avenue, Pitsmoor proceeded to sexually assault the young woman, and put his hand over her mouth as he did so.
She added: “He tried to put a carrier bag in her mouth. She struggled, at which point he put both arms around her and tried to pull her away...she grabbed at the railings to try and stop him...she thought she was going to be raped and killed”
Hussain continued to try and pull the woman away.
Ms Rhys said Hussain was forced off the woman by a passing man, who shouted at him to ‘stop,’ before pushing him away from her.
A second man, who was jogging over the bridge, also attempted to intervene.
Hussain subsequently fled the scene on foot, and the first man escorted the young woman to her car while she called the police.
The two men who came to the young woman’s aid have never been identified.
Hussain’s victim read a statement to the court, in which she described Hussain as a ‘monster’ and detailed the devastating impact the attack has had on her.
“I know this incident will remain with me throughout my life. I still can’t believe someone would think it was acceptable to attack me in this way. I didn’t think I would ever get away. I was absolutely terrified.”
Referring to the fact she is a Muslim, the woman said: “I believe this monster picked me in the hope I would not tell anyone in fear of bringing shame on my family.”
The courageous woman added: “I am determined not to let this beat me.”
Ms Rhys told the court that police reviewed CCTV which showed Hussain, who has a ‘distinctive gait,’ following the woman after coming out of his workplace nearby.
“As a result police attended and showed staff the CCTV. Staff were not forthcoming, saying they had agency staff and that it could be one of them. It transpired that they were family members of the defendant’s,” she said.
Ms Rhys said the woman should be regarded as ‘vulnerable’ because she was on her own and in an isolated location when the attack took place.
Hussain initially gave an account of the incident to his wife, mother and the police in which he claimed he was attacked by a woman as he waited at a bus stop on the Wicker, and subsequently followed her to demand an apology.
He eventually admitted his wrongdoing when he entered a guilty plea to a charge of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.
Michael Walsh, defending, said his client denied selecting the woman as his victim because of ‘her membership to a particular racial group’.
“The defendant made a series of foolish, and what became, criminal decisions,” he added.
Judge David Dixon sentenced Hussain to five years in prison and to an extended license period of a further four years due to the danger he believes he poses to the public.
He said he agreed with the victim’s suggestion that Hussain had targeted her because he thought she was less likely to report him to the police due to her faith.
“You saw her and decided you were going to offend against her. You followed her for some time. In my judgement, you were trying to find the right location, where she would be isolated and out of the way of others,” said Judge Dixon.
He added: “This was gratuitous violence on a young woman. You will serve an extended sentence of nine years.”
- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Hussain