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Man sentenced over “targeted and brazen” sexual assault on college student

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A 17-year-old girl was left terrified and in tears after being sexually assaulted while waiting for a train home from college.

 

The student was on a platform at Newport railway station when Shiblu Baksh struck in broad daylight on 29 March this year.

 

Arriving at the station just before 3.30pm, Baksh walked along the platform directly towards the victim and sat next to her. He then caressed her inner thigh and smiled. A few moments later, he repeated the act and asked if an approaching train was going to Cardiff. This time, he kept his hand on her leg for around five seconds.

 

The victim, clearly in shock, boarded her train to get away from Baksh. Once on board, she began crying and told a friend on the phone what had happened. She then reported the incident to police when she arrived home.

 

Investigating officers released a CCTV image of the suspect and within a few days, 44-year-old Baksh was identified and interviewed. 

 

After pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to sexual assault, Baksh, of Nibley Road, Bristol appeared at Newport Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 29 August, and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and required to register with the police in accordance with the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for a period of five years. He must also pay £115 victim surcharge and £85 court costs, and must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for up to 10 days.

 

Detective Constable Dan Murdoch, the investigating officer in the case, said: “This was clearly a distressing incident which has had a significant impact on the victim. Not only was she deeply upset by what she had been subjected to, but it has also affected her confidence and she no longer feels comfortable using the railway.

 

“She did nothing whatsoever to encourage Baksh and at no stage did she consent to him touching her. She was a completely innocent 17-year-old travelling home alone from college; this was a targeted and brazen invasion of a young woman’s physical and emotional privacy.

 

“No one should ever have to experience unwanted sexual behaviour while travelling on the rail network. I hope this case sends a very clear message to all potential offenders that we will utilise all tools available to us – including the wealth of CCTV on the rail network – to bring them to justice, and also reassures victims that you will always be listened to and that every single incident will be treated with the utmost importance.”

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