March 2007

Two jailed for sex assault on girl, 14

A TEENAGER who beat and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl with a samurai sword has been jailed for five years and put on the sex offenders register.

Asher Pusey, 19, (pic above) of no fixed abode, was sentenced for aggravated burglary and sexual activity with a child at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday.

His accomplice Youssef Benmoussa, 21, (pic below) of Walton Avenue, South Harrow, was locked-up for four-and-a-half years for his part in the alcohol-fuelled burglary just days before Christmas last year. Both men pleaded guilty to the charges.

The victim, who knew Benmoussa and his family well, was home alone at the time of the incident.

In her accounts to the police, the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she checked the house was secure before going to bed at midnight on December 23.

Prosecuting, Martin Lahiffe described how the victim was woken by a loud bang. She then saw Pusey standing in front of her bed carrying a sword he had taken from a display downstairs. She spotted Benmoussa, also known as Blake, in a nearby mirror.

Pusey asked her for money before searching the house.

The bewildered victim, who initially thought the break-in was a joke, became frightened when Pusey started hitting her with the blunt edge of the 12-inch blade.

She told Pusey that there was £65 in a purse downstairs, he went to find it and on his return placed a pillow on her face to stop her seeing what was going on.

While Benmoussa went to search the house for valuables, Pusey assaulted the young girl, ignoring her cries begging him to stop. Benmoussa saw what was happening and laughed, the court heard.

Mitigating for Pusey, Annie Walker described him as someone who could not hold his alcohol and said he expressed “genuine remorse for his actions”.

Mitigating for Benmoussa, David Rhodes said: “This was initially a petty domestic burglary that spiralled out of control. It was something that took a serious turn for the worse by two foolish young men disorientated by alcohol.”

Judge David Mole said to Benmoussa: “When you saw Asher Pusey sexually assaulting this little girl, to just walk in and laugh and go out again is something that you ought to be deeply ashamed of.”

Sentencing Pusey to five years in jail for the aggravated burglary and one year concurrent for the sexual assault, Judge Mole said: “The sentence I have given you is indeterminate.

“You will be considered by the parole board and you will not be released unless the parole board is satisfied you don’t present a serious risk.”

Pusey has previous convictions including burglaries, a robbery and handling stolen goods. Just weeks before this incident, Benmoussa was convicted of failing to surrender to custody.

Speaking outside the court, the victim’s distraught mother said: “I have lost everything, my home and my daughter. When I came back from holiday the house had been trashed and my daughter was in a state.

“After all this happened she changed and has now moved away. She told me she feels dirty and doesn’t want to live.”