March 2020

Lone female bus passengers in County Durham targeted by sex pest

A serial public transport pervert, said to be a menace to lone female passengers, has been banned from all buses in County Durham for life.

Jeffery Khan is also forbidden from using any sexual words or behaviour on any form of public transport or in any “public environment”.

The lifetime prohibitions were put in place by a judge after he imposed an extended determinate sentence on the 49-year-old sex pest.

Khan, who has a history of committing what were described as generally low-level sexualised offending, was jailed for two years as part of a sentence which includes an extended five-year period of licence supervision, upon release.

As an extended determinate sentence, he will have to serve at least 16 months of the prison sentence before being eligible for release.

The 49-year-old defendant, of Coronation Avenue, Blackhall Colliery, admitted two counts each of sexual assault and breaching a sexual harm prevention order, plus sexual activity with a child, common assault and harassment.

Durham Crown Court heard that most of the offences were committed on buses when he approached and tried to sit next to female passengers, made sexualised remarks to them, and in two cases, sexually touched them.

One of those offences was against a 14-year-old girl who recalled him making inappropriate remarks to her four days earlier on a bus.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said Khan was often drinking from cans of lager, which he was told to dispose of by the driver, but in one case after being reprimanded for his behaviour he poured it over the head of one of the women he abused, before getting off the bus.

Mr Newcombe said all the passengers involved said they felt uncomfortable and intimidated by his behaviour and tried to move seats, two of them opting to sit near to the driver until they reached their respective stops.

One of the victims, who said she felt repulsed by his actions, opted to take the more expensive option of taking a taxi home from work to avoid him, while another arranged to be picked up from work by her sister so she would not have to run the gauntlet of him being on board her homeward-bound bus.

Khan was finally arrested after groping a female shopper in a Morrison’s store in Hartlepool, last June.

The court was told the previous restraining order was put in place for five years at Newcastle Crown Court in October, 2017, due to similar offending.

Richard Herrmann, mitigating, accepted the unpleasant nature of Khan’s behaviour but said they were in the lower form of severity for sexual offending.

Having read probation and psychiatric reports on Khan, Judge Jonathan Carroll imposed the extended sentence and a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order.