A predatory offender who targeted a sleeping woman on the London underground has been jailed. The defendant led the victim-survivor off a tube before sexually assaulting her on a street in West Ham.

The sentence comes as the Met reaffirms its commitment to tackling violence against women and girls in the capital and bringing predatory offenders to justice.

Salman Yousaf, 43 (10.03.80), of Woodgrange Road, E7, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years, after a week-long trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court found he was guilty of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault.

On 29 April 2023 the woman was alone in the early hours on the London Underground after a night out with friends. Yousaf found her asleep in an empty carriage and sexually assaulted her in nearby Durban Road, E15.

The victim-survivor of this ordeal has pleaded for people to speak to police if they have suffered sexual assault. She said: “If anything like this happens to you do not be afraid to come forward, you will start your healing process once you see justice has been served. I am happy to know that he will be off the streets for a long time and unable to hurt anyone else.”

Dedicated Met officers found Yousaf by tracking him by CCTV from the night of the attack and pieced together his previous movements. Police found out Yousaf frequently used Forest Gate Railway Station. Using an image of Yousaf from the CCTV officers went to the station and spoke with staff and identified him leading to his arrest.

Detective Sergeant Keith Farris, whose team led the investigation said: “Sexual assault has a devastating impact and we are working hard to improve our response to violence against women and girls. We are listening to victim-survivors and working with charities and partners across the criminal justice system as we better our work to eradicate this terrible crime.”

Detective Constable Sam Bush, added: “I hope that Yousaf’s sentence will provide a small measure of comfort to his victim-survivor, and encourages others to report sexual assault. We will take it seriously and do our very best to support you and investigate predatory offenders.”

Throughout the investigation the woman was given full support by a specialist officer.

Yousaf pleaded not guilty and a trial was set for the week of 6 November 2023. He was found guilty of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault.

On Thursday, 1 February he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail and put on the sex offender’s register for life.

Find out more about how officers and staff in the Met are protecting women and girls across London with the VAWG Action Plan: VAWG action plan: Our 10 commitments | Metropolitan Police

If you have been a victim of sexual violence and not yet reported it – please contact your local police service. If it’s an emergency – dial 999.

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