A man who sexually assaulted a woman he followed from an Ipswich bar may face deportation after being jailed for three years. 

Alazar Yohans was handed a sentence of three years, of which he will serve half, and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.

He will also be placed on the Sex Offenders register for life.

Yohans, of no fixed abode, met the victim in Bar Twenty One while she was on a night out with her boyfriend on October 1 last year.

The court heard that he kissed her without her consent.

The victim and her boyfriend left the bar at 2.20am, and eventually separated as they walked home. This was when Yohans and his friend approached her.


Ipswich Star: Alazar Yohans was found guilty of the sexual assaults in March. Image: Suffolk PoliceAlazar Yohans was found guilty of the sexual assaults in March. Image: Suffolk Police (Image: Suffolk police)Ipswich Star: Alazar Yohans met the victim, who was not known to him, at Bar Twenty One in Ipswich.Alazar Yohans met the victim, who was not known to him, at Bar Twenty One in Ipswich. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Yohans was found guilty of having put his hand down the woman’s trousers without her consent near Hillside Primary School.

However, he was found not guilty of a third count, for which he was accused of forcing the victim to touch his exposed penis.

A statement written by the victim was read before the court. In it, she described the fear she felt trying to get home after realising she was being followed.

“I felt completely alone, there was no one there to help me,” she wrote.

Yohans maintained that he was 18 throughout proceedings, but his representation told the court they were not disputing Home Office findings that he is aged between 27 and 32.

His defence counsel Miss Ripper told the court that Yohans was suffering from trauma relating to his passage to the UK, and still suffers nightmares.

His family were Pentecostal Christians, his father having been killed in his native Eritrea because of his religious beliefs.

Yohans and his mother then left Eritrea, and she passed away in Sudan some time later.

Yohans’ counsel said that he lived in a tent in Morocco for three years and had attempted to take his own life.

In sentencing him, Judge David Wilson said that he was satisfied that Yohans had followed the victim for around 25 minutes with the intention of sexually assaulting her.

“What I fail to understand it that, having made an extensive journey to a safe country […] why you would then choose to jeopardize all of that with your predatory offending in this case?” he said.

“Only you can answer that question.”

He handed Yohans a three-year sentence for the sexual assault which occurred in the street, and a three-month sentence for the forced kiss in Bar Twenty One, which will be served concurrently.

The terms of the SHPO state that Yohans is prohibited from approaching, touching or attempting communication with any lone woman unknown to him, unless in the course of her employment or in the case of a genuine emergency.

As Yohans will serve a sentence of more than 12 months, he will automatically be liable for deportation by the Home Office.

“[The victim] no longer sees the world in the same way,” concluded Judge Wilson. “You, Alazar Yohans, have taken that from her.

“People should be free to walk the streets of Ipswich without fear, especially when they become unexpectedly isolated and vulnerable.”