Ipswich: Teenager’s tears as bus sex assault trial begins

IPSWICH: A 17-year-old fought back tears while giving evidence against a man charged with sexually assaulting one woman and two teenagers in three separate incidents while travelling on buses in Ipswich.

The trial of 35-year-old Mohammed Jainul Abdeen, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, yesterday began at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

The three charges relate firstly to September 21, when the Sri Lankan national boarded Ipswich Buses’ number 13 bus and, according to prosecutor Matthew Edwards, changed seats to be closer to one of the complainants and began stroking her leg.

The 38-year-old woman told magistrates she felt “sick” and “shocked” as the defendant moved his hand up her inner thigh while sitting on the back row of the bus.

She said that she attempted to elbow Abdeen in an attempt to stop him from continuing.

The court later heard that on November 10, Abdeen allegedly assaulted a 17-year-old student on board the number nine bus.

But John Hughes, for Abdeen, argued that the teenager could not say for certain that his client had assaulted her.

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A second 17-year-old broke down while giving evidence against Abdeen, claiming Abdeen’s leg twice made contact with hers on board a number seven bus, before he cupped his hand on her thigh, in what she described as a sexual manner.

John Hughes, defending Abdeen, said the teenager’s recollection of events on November 30 was “a little misguided”, adding: “As happens on a bus, the banging of knees is perfectly innocent.” He asked: “Could you not have been mistaken and have made it out to be worse than it is.” The teenager replied: “No”.

The unemployed father of one denies the charges. The trial will resume, part heard, on April 8.