August 2011

Boss is jailed for sex attack on girl

The boss of a furniture fitting business hugged, stroked and kissed a 16-year-old girl after calling at her home to measure the kitchen, a court heard.

The girl’s mother was out and her 14-year-old brother was watching television in another room, unaware anything was wrong.

Nurmahomed Hassam (58), a father of seven, was jailed for 12 months after admitting sexual assault.

Judge Simon Hammond said an aggravating feature in the case involved the girl being assaulted in her home, which should have been her “sanctuary”.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said Hassam, of Fairfield Road, Oadby, arranged with the girl’s mother a time to measure up for a furniture fitting job.

He was told she would not be there, but that her daughter would be in.

Hassam arrived at 6.45pm on January 5 this year.

In the kitchen he started to hug the girl, giving her “a big squeeze.”

“He kissed her on the forehead and she pushed him away,” said Mr Murphy.

“He stroked her arm and back and patted her on her bottom, over her clothing. She described feeling awkward and tried to keep her distance.

“They had to go upstairs to her bedroom because she was having some cupboards fitted in there.

“He tried to grab her hand as they went upstairs.

“Whilst measuring drawers he made inappropriate comments about her underwear, asking, ‘Is it sexy?’.

“He kissed her forehead, stroked her hand saying she had soft skin, stroked her hair and asked if she’d be his ‘Baby’.

“He slid his hand down her side and again touched her on the bottom.”

He added: “He kept making comments about her having a lovely smile. They went downstairs, where he grabbed her cheeks and pulled her face towards him, asking her to smile, and at that point she kicked the door to the living room open so he could see her brother.”

The court heard that Hassam told the girl he loved her, before finally leaving.

The girl’s mother returned half an hour later to find her shaking and crying.

In interview, Hassam said he had hugged the girl.

Faye Mellor, in mitigation, said Hassam, who had no previous convictions, employed eight people and his kitchen and furniture fitting business would suffer if he went to jail.

She added: “It was an opportunistic encounter lasting about 15 minutes.

“References show he’s had a positive impact on his community.”

Judge Hammond said: “It must have been a terrifying ordeal in her own home.

“Young girls should be protected from sexual predators.”

He placed Hassam on a sexual offenders protection order banning him from being in the unsupervised company of children under 17.

Hassam will also have to enlist on a sex offender register for 10 years.