A Syrian refugee who sexually assaulted six women in London underpasses just one month after being granted asylum in the UK has had his sentencing delayed pending a claimed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis.
Between November 14th, 2016, and March 3rd, 2017, Hasan Alkhabbaz, 22, lurked in underpasses in the Paddington area, notably in the Joe Strummer subway where The Clash’s frontman used to busk, and grabbed lone women by their bottoms and put his hands up their skirts, reports the Daily Mail.
The Syrian had already received a suspended sentence in May for a similar offence committed on March 5, 2017, whilst investigations into the earlier assaults were being conducted by police.
After being released on conditional bail on August 15th, Alkhabbaz was arrested for trying to flee the UK on September 8th at Heathrow Airport. He was attempting to board a flight to Egypt with the intention of going on to Sudan.
He was in possession of a Syrian passport that had been issued on August 21st – six days after he was bailed. Prosecutor Brett Weaver told the court the refugee was then remanded in custody until his court appearance at Southwark Crown Court after breaking the bail condition of not applying for international travel documents.
Alkhabbaz admitted to six counts of sexual assault, but a psychiatric evaluation was ordered following claims he suffered PTSD because he came from a war zone.
‘Me No Speak English’: Accused Sex Pest Has Trial Delayed
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 16, 2017
His barrister Kenneth Newman told the court: “Mr. Alkhabbaz and his family arrived in the UK in October last year fleeing the conflict in Syria. They were fast-tracked into the UK.
“Mr. Alkhabbaz lost a sister in Syria due to bombing and I am told by Mr. Alkhabbaz’s father they were under siege for a number of months.”
That experience lead to Alkhabbaz and his father being diagnosed with the anxiety disorder, Mr. Newman told the court.
The judge, Mr. Recorder Edward Connell, adjourned sentencing until November the 8th, pending results of a psychiatric report.
“You have pleaded guilty to a series of offences, each of which crosses the custody threshold and the most likely sentence you are going to receive is a custodial sentence.
“But that will be for the judge on that occasion to decide once they know a bit more about you from the report,” Judge Connell said.
Breitbart London reported in August that Alkhabbaz’s trial had to be delayed because he claimed he could not speak English and there was not a translator available.