An illegal immigrant from Algeria who sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl attempted to claim asylum after his arrest.
Mr Ouldkount Belabbas first kissed the girl, then led her away whilst she was in the Madame Tussauds gift shop. Mr Belabbas, who is described as a ‘highly predatory’ paedophile is believed to have lived in the country illegally for 13 years prior to the offence but shortly after being arrested claimed asylum in the hope of avoiding deportation.
After pinning the child in a corner of the gift shop, Belabbas began touching her chest until a group of Venezuelan tourists stopped him, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Sentencing, Judge Alistair McCreath said: “This defendant had been, in the time preceding the commission of these offences, in the habit of going to Madame Tussaud’s.”
Prosecutor, Lesley Jones, told the court that since his arrest, Belabbas had applied for asylum. She said: “He is an Algerian national known to the immigration authorities. At the time of his arrest he had not made a claim for asylum and had failed to sign with the immigration authorities.
“He apparently has now made a claim and that is being considered”.
However his defence lawyer, Barry Kogan, insisted that his client intended to return home after serving his sentence. He said: “The fact of the matter is, this man has been in this country since 2001. He has no convictions recorded against him for anything of this nature – either violent or sexual.”
The result of Belabbas’ asylum application is yet to be announced by the Home Office.