Man is jailed for squeezing girl’s thigh on train journey

Mohammed Benfedda, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court

Mohammed Benfedda, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court

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A 30-year-old man has been jailed for six months for sexually touching two women on a train.

Mohammed Benfedda, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of obstructing the railway following a British Transport Police investigation.

The court heard how, on April 21 this year, Benfedda cornered his first victim on a Virgin train between Carlisle and Lancaster as she went to use the toilet, touching her hip while speaking to her inappropriately.

On the same train, Benfedda also approached another girl, removing one of her earphones and moving her bag from the seat so he could sit next to her. When she told him she did not want to speak to him, he placed his hand on her thigh and squeezed her leg. She tried to move away but he blocked her exit.

When she did manage to escape Benfedda claimed he would ‘get her when she got off the train’.

The victim alerted a cleaner who informed the train manager.

She alerted British Transport Police who met the train at Lancaster station. When Benfedda was identified to officers he made a run for it, trespassing on the railway causing three trains to be cancelled, 49 train delays and 439 minutes of delays at a cost of more than £8,000 to Network Rail.