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19th Jan, 2022

Blind fitter handed suspended jail sentence for assaulting Solihull schoolgirl

A BLIND fitter who sexually assaulted a Solihull schoolgirl in her bedroom has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Ubaid Rehman who did not plead guilty to sexual assault until the day of his trial, claiming the family were making it up to avoid paying for the blinds, was sentenced to 23 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months.

Judge Peter Cooke also ordered the 24-year-old to do 150 hours of unpaid work, to take part in a rehabilitation activity, and to register as a sex offender for seven years.

Prosecutor Caroline Harris said that in July last year the 17-year-old’s parents were having blinds fitted in a downstairs room.

Rehman, of Doris Road in Sparkhill, was one of two workmen and after they had installed the blind, he suggested that while he was there he could measure the windows upstairs to save them from returning if they decided to have blinds upstairs.

The girl, who had been downstairs when the men had arrived but had then gone up to her room, agreed that she might have a blind, and her mother left Rehman there to measure up.

The girl asked if he wanted a drink, which he declined, but when she returned with a glass of water for herself, he picked it up and took a sip from it.

He then went to shake her hand but he put one hand on her lower back and pulled her towards him and told her to kiss him.

He stopped, and she jumped over her bed to get out of the room and rushed downstairs to tell her parents.

When Rehman came down and was challenged about what had happened, he at first said he had been measuring, but then repeatedly said he was sorry.

The police were contacted, and when Rehman attended a police station for a voluntary interview, he claimed he had simply been taking measurements, and could not understand why he was being shouted at when he went back downstairs.

He denied the allegation, claiming the family had made it up to avoid paying for the blind, added Miss Harris.

Rehman’s barrister Seamran Sidhu conceded that the offence passed the ‘custody threshold,’ and that there were aggravating features, but said the ‘general theme of the report is one of deep shame.’

Judge Cooke said: “This was a case of the sexual propositioning of a total stranger, and what is more, a stranger of school age in a location where, more than any other, she ought to have been wholly safe from any molestation.

“I was hoping to see more signs of genuine remorse. There are some signs in that report, but other things I have read cause me real concern.

“This is a case which shows you to be a young man with an unbalanced view of the rights of the sexes. In that report you were quite prepared to prioritise your own sexual urges over any rights she had.”

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