A 43-year-old man was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, 5 January to nine months imprisonment for stalking a 13-year-old girl.
Bahram Hekmat, 43, of Albermarle Avenue, Enfield, was found guilty of stalking involving serious alarm/distress following a four-day trial. In addition to his imprisonment, Hekmat was also issued with a 12-month supervision order and an indefinite restraining order in the area of the offence.
Hekmat committed the offence on Saturday, 24 September 2016 between 15:10 and 16:00hrs. The victim was waiting at the bus stop on Ponders End High Road, Enfield, when Hekmat pulled up and started making romantic/sexual gestures by blowing kisses at the victim and beckoning her to get in his car.
The victim then boarded the northbound number 279 bus and alighted at Hertford Road/Green Street.
Hekmat followed the bus in his car and parked at the bus stop where the victim got off. He continued blowing kisses at her before threatening that he would continue to follow her if she didn’t return his advances.
When the victim alerted a member of public, Hekmat sped off.
Hekmat came to the attention of the Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) after the victim’s mother called the police.
RTPC officers obtained the bus CCTV and were able to identify Hekmat by his car registration. He was arrested for stalking by the RTPC Tasking Team at his home address in December 2016.
He appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 20 July 2017 where he pleaded not guilty.
This conviction is believed to be the first of its kind as the stalking took place within 15 minutes, unlike other incidents where it occurs on at least two separate occasions and is a pattern of incidents.
Despite the short time window, the courts have decided that this incident constituted stalking and it is likely to become a stated case for future reference and guidance in court.
Detective Constable Darren Barlow, of RTPC, said: “This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence committed – a disgusting act of public indecency which has left a young girl shaken and very upset. The effects of Hekmat’s behaviour continue to have a detrimental impact on the victim who at the time of the offence was just 13 years old.
“If you commit an offence on London’s transport network, we will pursue and arrest you. I urge anyone who experiences unwanted sexual attention to report it to police.
Sexual offences are always taken very seriously and reports of incidents of this nature are investigated thoroughly.”
Siwan Hayward, Transport for London’s Head of Transport Policing, said: “Everyone has the right to travel without fear or intimidation and alongside the police we will eradicate unwanted sexual behaviour from public transport in London.
“This case sends a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and that offenders will be caught and brought to justice.”