‘Refugee’ Spared Prison After Strangling, Sexually Assaulting Woman in Maidstone, Kent


A teenage ‘refugee’ who strangled a young woman and sexually assaulted her has been spared prison, and allowed to skip a “vigorous and intensive” sex offender treatment programme due to his poor English.

Diversity and Community Relations Judge Philip Statman handed Filmon Kbrom, an 18-year-old Eritrean, a short 19-month term in youth custody — but suspended the sentence, meaning he will not actually have to serve it unless he commits another crime within the next two years.

Statman instead gave the refugee a 10-month curfew between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and 180 hours of unpaid work, KentOnline reports.

“I have a duty to protect your victim, I also have a duty to protect the public,” he wheedled, before claiming the case was “exceptional” and that his judgement must be “tempered with mercy”.

“Your victim has suffered considerably [but] you are still a young man and I understand that you have witnessed horrible events in your childhood and adolescent years … It is in my view, on all that I have read about this defendant, an exceptional case, and on occasion exceptional cases require an exceptional course to be taken.”

Any member of the public can request that the Attorney-General’s Office ask the Court of the Appeal to strengthen weak sentences through the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme, but it is not known if anyone has done so in this case yet.

The court heard that Kbrom had approached his 25-year-old victim while she was on a night out in Maidstone, Kent, asking her to follow him so he could “show her something” while grabbing his penis.

Prosecutor Ben Irwin described how, after she politely told him “No thank you”, he “grabbed her wrist and tried to pull her with him.”

The refugee “strangled her, which caused bruises on her neck [and] caused her to stop breathing” when she resisted.

“She thought she was going to faint and was scared because she didn’t know what was going to happen.

“She was able to push him away but he then grabbed her left wrist. She said ‘Get off me’ and tried to push him away. But he then grabbed her on her right breast and left her feeling tender.

“She pushed him away [again] and he then grabbed her mouth. She told police ‘His fingers went in my mouth like a fish hook and he held my cheek’.”

The victim said she “didn’t know what was going to happen. He could have strangled me or raped me. It makes me scared to go out alone. I don’t feel safe.”

Kbrom is supported in Britain by a social worker and a voluntary organisation called Kent Kindness, and is currently studying basic English and mathematics at college — presumably at taxpayers’ expense.

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