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Lawyer Raj Chopra Says Woman Assaulted in Pool Would’ve ‘Forgotten About It in Two or Three Days’

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A defence lawyer has caused outrage after suggesting a woman assaulted by his client Mohammed Akhtar would have “forgotten about it in two or three days”.

Solicitor Raj Chopra was trying to convince the court in Blackburn, England, that a ban on 50-year-old Akhtar using public swimming baths where women were present would be “draconian”, the Lancashire Telegraph reports.

“He has been assessed by the probation service as being at low risk of further offending,” Chopra claimed.

“It was a brief incident and these things are forgotten about in two or three days.”

Akhtar had groped the victim on the buttocks and thigh as she climbed down a ladder into the pool in Mercer Hall, Great Harwood.

Prosecutor Enza Geldard said it was “a shame the victim isn’t in court to respond to the defence suggestion she would forget about it in two or three days”.

Passing sentence, the chairman of the magistrates admonished the defence lawyer and his client.

“Mr. Chopra’s comment about people forgetting about these offences in two or three days was shocking,” she said.

“You made a comment which was offensive which the prosecution has already picked up on.”

Despite the harsh words, however, the sentence handed to Akhtar, of Hartmann Street, Accrington, was very lenient: a 12-month community order with a nine-month alcohol treatment condition and 25 rehabilitation activity days, and an order to pay £150 compensation and £85 costs.

He was also placed on the sex offender register for two years and banned from all swimming baths in Lancashire — but only for 12 months.

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