"Baig would have continued in his attempts to rape a woman."
Anas Baig, aged 19, of Harlow, Essex, was jailed for a total of eight years on January 29, 2019, at Luton Crown Court for attempting to rape two women in Luton town centre.
He sexually assaulted one woman and attempted to sexually assault another within a period of 30 minutes.
On July 27, 2018, at 1:35 am, Baig targeted and followed an 18-year-old woman as she was walking home from a night out in the town centre with her friends.
Baig approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her. At that point, the young woman’s mobile phone rang and disrupted Baig. This allowed the victim to get away from him.
Around half an hour, Baig approached a different woman in her 20s who was walking along Alma Street, Luton. Baig offered the woman money for sex and attempted to sexually assault her.
Luckily, a group of men were walking nearby and managed to intercept the incident and Baig ran off.
Officers investigating the two incidents saw on CCTV that Baig had been following his victims in the area shortly before each incident.
In the case of the second woman, Baig was seen following her for a period of up to 20 minutes beforehand.
Baig was arrested after dedicated investigation work by Bedfordshire Police’s Emerald team, who specialises in cases of rape and serious sexual assault.
DI Lorraine Coombes said: “These were disturbing attacks, where the offender targeted lone women walking at night, following them before assaulting them.
“Officers led a successful manhunt to locate Baig, managing this case from the outset, to a swift conclusion, with dedication and a keenness to see this offender apprehended before he could continue.
“I strongly believe, had he not been caught, Baig would have continued in his attempts to rape a woman.”
In December 2018, Baig pleaded guilty to one count of attempted rape, one count of assault by beating and one count of assault by beating with intent to commit a sexual offence.
DC Nicky Robinson said:
“We are committed to bringing dangerous, sexually motivated offenders to justice, and to keeping Bedfordshire safe from such predators.”
His Honour Judge Andrew Bright said: “What they experienced surely must be every woman’s worst nightmare.
“I’m in no doubt you were attempting to force a woman to have sex, regardless of whether she consented or not.
“I am very worried that you are still trying to justify your actions. You display worrying beliefs concerning females and consent issues. Until those issues are tackled, you pose a serious risk of sexual assault to females.”
Baig was jailed for six years for attempted rape of his first victim, with a further four months for the assault by beating.
He also received 20 months for assault by beating of his second victim to run concurrently with the four months.
DC Robinson added: “This is a positive result for the team who worked tirelessly throughout the days following the attacks in order to piece together Baig’s movements, to safeguard and support his two victims, and to work with them to gather the evidence.
“Although this sentence can never make up for the trauma inflicted on these two women, we hope that they will now be able to start the process of putting the events of that night behind them.”
Anas Baig must serve at least two-thirds of that sentence and will be on licence for four years once he leaves prison. A restraining order has also been put in place in relation to both victims.