March 2013

Train passenger who sexually assaulted a teenage girl every day for one month as she travelled to school

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A train passenger who sexually assaulted a teenage girl every day for one month as she travelled to school on the London Underground has been jailed for two years.

Plain clothed British Transport Police (BTP) officers travelled with his 14-year-old victim after she reported the offence.

Paul Toal, 59, of Devonport Gardens, Ilford, was subsequently caught red-handed attacking her again.

He was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, having previously been convicted of four counts of sexual assault, two in relation to an assault against a 26-year-old woman in 2011.

The court heard that early in the morning on February 9 last year, the girl was on a westbound Central line train at Redbridge station.

Toal stood next to the victim and indecently touched her before alighting at Mile End.

The victim told her friends about what happened and was overheard by a teacher, who encouraged her to report it.

The next day BTP officers travelled with her and during the journey, Toal indecently touched the victim again and was arrested.

The victim told officers Toal had committed the offence every day for a month but she had been too scared to report it.

The court also heard he assaulted a 26-year-old woman between November 21 and 25, 2011, on a Victoria line train at Oxford Circus.

During the journey Toal indecently touched her, which she at first believed to be an accident so did not say anything.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, was given a sexual offences prevention order and was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Speaking afterwards, Det Con Claire Sheals, said: “I’d firstly like to commend both victims for providing an excellent account of what happened and for having the courage to stand up and give evidence against Toal in court.

“Toal was a prolific offender and is now in jail for his disgusting behaviour.

“We take sexual assaults very seriously and do everything we can to identify and arrest those responsible.”