"and then moved his hand up her thigh"
Rajiv Banger, aged 35, of Birmingham, was jailed for 20 months after he sexually assaulted a young woman on a train.
At Warwick Crown Court, prosecutor David Jackson said that in February 2020, the victim had been out with work colleagues in Birmingham.
Shortly after midnight, she got on a train at New Street Station to return to her home in Coventry.
As she sat down, she saw Banger on the platform banging on the window.
He then got into the same carriage which made her feel uncomfortable, so she moved to another carriage.
Mr Jackson said: “But he then walked through that carriage five or six times over the next 10-15 minutes until he returned to where she was and stood next to her and asked how she was.
“She felt nervous, but tried to keep calm and said ‘OK, thank you.’
“He again walked up and down, and then returned and sat next to her.
“He then moved to sit opposite her and was staring at her in a way which made her feel nervous.
“He then leaned forward and put his hand on her knee over her jeans, and then moved his hand up her thigh, and it came to rest with his thumb pressing onto her genitals.
“She felt horrified and stood up and walked away and sought help from other passengers, and they banged on the cab door to attract the attention of the driver.”
The driver stopped the train at Berkswell to speak to them and, after asking his control to contact British Transport Police, continued the journey with his cab door open to give the passengers some sense of protection.
The other passengers got off three stops before Coventry.
The woman relaxed, believed Banger had also done so. However, he then returned to the carriage where she was sitting alone.
She ran through other carriages crying until she found some other passengers.
But Banger still approached her, asking: “Are you OK? What happened?”
At Coventry station, Banger got off the train and was arrested.
When he was interviewed, he claimed: “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Banger pleaded guilty to sexual assault.
The victim, who feared Banger was going to rape her, is now too scared to travel on trains alone and panics if men she does not know come near her.
Seamran Sidhu, defending, said: “The defendant says how appalled he is at his actions.
“There is nothing of a similar nature on his record, so this does seem to be out of character.
“He understands the seriousness of this offence and that the starting point will be an immediate custodial sentence, but I would ask Your Honour to step back from that to allow him to work with probation.”
Judge Anthony Potter told Banger:
“This was not a brief incident, it was a protracted piece of behaviour by you, directed quite deliberately at a lone female who was using public transport to get home late at night.
“You followed her from one carriage to another, you deliberately approached her and you pressed your finger onto her vagina over her clothing, and you then followed her again.
“The troubling feature of your offending is not just the way you preyed on her, but the way it reflects your behaviour towards females in the past.
“She had a fear that eight months on from your offending had not allayed and she was not using public transport.”
“You are responsible for that, and you must accept the punishment that flows from that sustained impact.
“This offending is so serious, targeting as you did a female on her own late at night on public transport, that the only sentence there can be is one of immediate imprisonment.”
Banger was jailed for 20 months and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
He was also banned from being in any train carriage in which there is a lone female or sitting next to or opposite any woman travelling alone.