May 2023

Pervert ‘sniffed’ and sexually assaulted barely-conscious woman in Leeds city centre

A devastated woman who was sexually assaulted as she lay barely conscious in Leeds city centre said: “I would not wish it on anyone”

The female was attacked by Algerian Mohammed Rabi who insisted he walk her home after approaching her in a bar. He was then seen by shocked CCTV operators assaulting the “limp” female as she lay on the floor.

He was trying to drag her away when the police arrived to arrest him.

In a lengthy statement read to Leeds Crown Court, the woman, who cannot be named, said she is receiving counselling, relies on suicide helplines, is on medication and suffers constant panic attacks and night terrors.

She said: “I can no longer enjoy the sounds of the city I once loved. This incident has set me back more than I could ever imagine.

“This has completely shattered what I perceived to be safe and seriously made me question where, who and what around me is safe. I would not wish it on anyone.”

The court heard she had been drinking with a friend in The New Penny on Call Lane in the early hours of January 22. At round 6.25am the woman was seen on CCTV slumped near a pedestrian bridge in The Calls area.

Rabi was seen touching her groin area and appeared to be sniffing her, before putting his hands underneath her leggings or tights. He was then seen going through her handbag.

The police arrived to find Rabi trying to move her body by either dragging or pulling her limp body. He was quickly handcuffed and gave a false name, but later gave his correct details at the police station.

The woman later told police that Rabi had approached her and her friend in the pub and they had tried to get rid of him. He then offered to walk with her when she left on her own, despite trying to dissuade him.

She said she remembers telling him she had a boyfriend, but he got on top of her and tried to kiss her.

Rabi, age, 38, of Stanley Road, Harehills, admitted a charge of sexual assault. He appeared in court via video link from HMP Doncaster where we was being held on remand.

Judge Andrew Stubbs KC jailed him for 22-and-a-half months. He told him: “You targeted a particularly vulnerable female and when she tried to get rid of you, you persisted. She found herself helpless and motionless on the ground.

“She remembers trying to fight you off and you simulated sexual intercourse with her. You took advantage of her for your own sexual gratification.

“You have caused her severe psychological harm, there seems to be no feature in her life that has not been affected.”

He was put on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The court was told that he has been in the UK since 2016, having fled Algeria after his family were attacked by terrorists