Leeds studentland night stalker preyed on young women

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A TAXI driver who stalked the student areas of Leeds in a bid to commit sex assaults on young women in their own homes has been given an extended prison sentence.

A court heard Amjad Farooq managed to get into the home of one victim and sexually assaulted her as she lay asleep on her sofa.

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Farooq, 29, was eventually arrested after police were contacted when he was spotted trying door handles in the early hours of the morning.

Leeds Crown Court heard Farooq was working for a private hire firm at the time of his first offence in October last year.

The victim had spent the evening drinking with friends at her student accommodation in Headingley and fell asleep without locking her front door.

Farooq let himself into the flat around 1am and sexually assaulted the victim.

Gerald Hendron, prosecuting, said the young woman was sleepy at the time and initially believed it was her ex boyfriend.

The woman then went to her bedroom with Farooq and he continued to have sexual contact with her in the dark. She did not realise she was being sexually assaulted by an intruder until Farooq spoke with a foreign accent.

The woman then chased Farooq out of the property and called police.

Farooq was caught three months later, on the morning of January 5 this year, as he targeted homes in the Woodhouse area.

Mr Hendron said Farooq gained entry to one property and the victim awoke to find him touching her leg as she lay in bed.

Farooq fled when he realised the victim’s friend was also in bed beside her.

He then let himself into another home nearby as a female student was asleep but he ran off after activating the burglar alarm.

Police arrested Farooq nearby at around 5am the same morning when a member of public became suspicious after seeing him trying door handles.

CCTV footage was also recovered from the area showing Farooq running along an alley in the pouring raining with just his socks on as he carried his shoes.

Farooq, of Luxor View, Harehills, pleaded guilty to two sexual assault offences and two of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Jessica Strange, prosecuting, said Farooq was a married father-of-two who faced being deported to Pakistan after completing his sentence.

She said Farooq was unable to explain why he committed the offences. She added: “These type of offence are difficult to accept for most people.”

Farooq was given an extended prison sentence totalling 15 years. He must serve a custodial period of 12 years, followed by a further three years on licence.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told Farooq he was imposing the sentence because he posed a significant danger to young women.

He said: “It appears you had picked out this area to find young victims so there was a certain amount of planning involved.

“In those circumstance I have to impose a sentence that affords protection to young women in Leeds.”

After the case, Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, Head of Crime for the Leeds District, said: “Amjad Farooq is a truly dangerous individual who sought to prey upon people in their own homes to commit sexual assaults, and we welcome his conviction.”

Lindsay Farquharson

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