Woman was 'up-skirted' in Burnley shop

Burnley Magistrates' CourtBurnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
A shopper was left feeling violated after she was "up-skirted" by a man who got on all fours and looked up her dress, a court heard.

Convicted sex attacker Abdul Rofik struck as the woman looked at goods in TK Maxx in Burnley. The 35-year old ex-drug addict, whose victim was also upset and disgusted by his behaviour, was to claim he had dropped his prayer beads.

The town's magistrates were told how the first thing the 56-year-old woman had known about what was going on was when she felt something touch the back of her leg. She turned round to find Rofik on all fours.

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Prosecutor Miss Catherine Allan told the hearing that "up-skirting" had become so prevalent that Parliament had tried to pass new legislation to make it a specific offence, but it had not yet been passed.

Miss Allan told the hearing that at 1-30pm, the victim was shopping. Rofik entered the store and was described as looking furtively around him, walking towards the woman and looking round again. He then went down on all fours, placed his head directly beneath the victim's skirt and looked up.

Miss Allan said: "When he was confronted about his behaviour, he said he had dropped his prayer beads on the floor and had not looked up her skirt, but the CCTV clearly shows what he did. She says he encroached on her personal space while she was just out shopping."

The victim told police: "I am absolutely mortified and distressed."

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The prosecutor added the defendant had 31 convictions for 55 offences, including sexual assault in 2006.

Mr Keith Rennison (defending) said: "He does have mental health issues. He has schizophrenia. He did previously have a drug problem. That's now under control. "

Rofik, of Merton Street, Burnley, admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress, on July 18th. He will be sentenced at a later date and was bailed on condition he does not contact the victim directly or indirectly.