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Man jailed for kidnapping a woman in Withington

|News, Sexual offences

A man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of six years and 25 days for kidnapping a woman in broad daylight at a bus stop in Manchester.

At Manchester Crown Court earlier today Omar Alam, 50, was sentenced for kidnapping the woman from a bus stop on Palatine Road in Withington on 25 July 2019 and with intent to commit a sexual offence. 

The woman, who had just finished work, was grabbed from behind by Alam. He got her in a headlock and dragged her towards the bushes saying, “You’re coming with me”.

He then forced her towards the grounds of a secluded church nearby. She screamed and shouted for help and a passing motorist honked the horn and shouted, “Get off her”. On hearing this, Alam released his grip and fled and the woman fell to her knees. She suffered cuts and bruising as a result of the attack.

Alam pleaded not guilty but the jury agreed with the CPS and found him guilty, following a trial. At the trial, the CPS arranged for the woman to give evidence using screens so she would not have to see her attacker in court.

In an emotional victim impact statement, the victim said: “On the 25 July 2019, my life changed for the worse, the past two years have been hell for me and my family”.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Rachael Yarwood, of CPS North West, said: "These offences have had a devastating impact on the victim’s life. She showed incredible bravery in giving evidence against her attacker. Without her evidence we wouldn’t have been able to secure this conviction and sentence, which will protect the public from Alam in the future. I hope today’s sentence will bring her a measure of comfort."

Police Sergeant Chris Turner said: "This was an absolutely terrifying ordeal for the victim who was simply trying to get home after a day at work and I am very pleased that Alam has now been taken off the streets.

"I would like to thank the victim for her bravery in helping us with our investigation and the members of the public who stepped in to help following the incident.

"I'd also like to thank Rachael Yarwood from the Crown Prosecution Service and the prosecution Barrister in the trial, Matthew Curtis, both of whom have been outstanding in making sure that Alam has been brought to justice."

Notes to editors

  • Rachael Yarwood is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS North West’s RASSO Unit.
  • Alam was found guilty of two offences after trial: Committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence and kidnapping.
  • The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to closing the gap between the number of cases being reported and those going to court, to make sure more victims get justice.
  • In June, the CPS and the NPCC launched the National ISVA framework which commits to new minimum standards of support for victims of rape and sexual violence.
  • Victims can report sexual offences to their local police on 101 or call 999 if they are in immediate danger. For confidential support, victims can speak to Rape Crisis and Victim Support.

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