"sexual assault is understandably a deeply traumatic experience"
Merza Ahmad, aged 30, of Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, has been jailed for sexually assaulting a 65-year-old woman.
He had committed the sickening crime in 2011, however, he fled the country and remained on the run for nine years.
Ahmad had first been charged with sexual assault in 2011 and following a first appearance at Grimsby Crown Court in May of that year, he fled the country.
A warrant was issued for Ahmad’s arrest. Officers searched for him before eventually tracing him to Sligo, Ireland in 2020.
Humberside Police were able to extradite Ahmad and he subsequently faced a trial.
The court heard that Ahmad had forced himself upon the elderly woman, subjecting her to a prolonged assault. Following the sexual assault on Freeman Street, the victim was left deeply traumatised.
Detective Constable Chris Clarke, who has been leading the investigation, said:
“Being a victim of sexual assault is understandably a deeply traumatic experience and can be incredibly difficult to speak up about.
“I can only applaud the bravery of the woman who was subjected to this horrifying attack for reporting what had happened to her, and for the strength she has shown throughout the entire painstaking investigation.
“Mr Ahmad thought he could run and hide, but he couldn’t.”
“Humberside Police were dedicated to finding him and bringing him to justice for his actions, which I feel has now been served.
“We take reports of sexual assault incredibly seriously and would encourage any victim to come forward, when they are ready, so we can continue to take action against perpetrators.”
After a three-day trial, Ahmad was sentenced to two years and four months in prison. Grimsby Telegraph reported that he was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
In a similar case, a man raped a woman in his car before fleeing to India.
Ajay Rana had spotted a woman walking along Oulton Road, Lowestoft on December 9, 2017. He stopped alongside her and offered her a lift, saying it was cold and claimed he had just given a lift to two other people.
The woman accepted his offer. Rana drove to Kimberley Road and stopped the car before raping the woman.
The police were informed, however, during the investigation, Rana fled to India.
Officers identified him as a suspect by using a pair of earphones that were inside the vehicle to match DNA with swabs taken from the victim.
Extradition proceedings were underway and following a trial in the UK, Rana was jailed for seven years.