• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

News

Woman assaulted by stranger while she slept in Wales hotel room

The man, who the victim said took her “smile and happiness”, was handed a jail term of four-and-half years.

Umair Farooq (Picture: North Wales Police)

By: Shubham Ghosh

In a horrific incident in a hotel in Wales, a woman was attacked by a stranger who sneaked into her room while she slept late at night and took advantage of her vulnerable state. The man was given a jail term of four-and-half years.

The incident proved to be so traumatic for the woman that she said that the assailant had taken her “smile and happiness”, North Wales Live reported.

When the accused, Umair Farooq from Rangapura in Sialkot, Pakistan, was produced before a judge at Mold Crown Court, he admitted to an assault by penetration and trespass with an intent to commit a sexual offence.

At a hearing at the court on October 13, prosecutor Simon Rogers told the court that the victim had travelled to North Wales with a friend and stayed at a hotel in Denbighshire. They first met Farooq at the hotel bar where he allegedly made them “uncomfortable” as he appeared to watch them from a distance while they sat outside with a drink.

The court then heard that the duo left for another pub soon after and returned to the hotel around 10 pm local time. The victim was feeling unwell and put to bed by her friend.

The prosecutor said that she was woken up a little later and she was shocked to see Farooq inside the room. The woman reportedly pushed the man, who got his hands on a key, and ran to her friend.

The matter was then reported to the police.

When he was confronted at the reception desk of the hotel, Farooq told the woman’s friend that he was “just checking on her” and that the room’s key was in the door. He also said, “I’m Muslim, I wouldn’t do that.”

According to North Wales Live, the 42-year-old defendant also told the police that he didn’t know “what was allowed” in Britain and thought it was perfectly fine to open the door and enter the victim’s room.

The assaulted woman, on the other hand, called the man a “monster” in her victim impact statement. He also said that no sentence would ever be enough and that she didn’t deserve this.

“I don’t get how this happens in a quiet hotel in Wales. I can’t get his face out of my head or his hands off my body. No matter how many baths I have, he’s still on me. I feel like I’ve lost myself to a man and I don’t even know who he is or his name. He took my smile and happiness,” she said.

Simon Mintz, who was defending, told the court that there was little he could say to minimise his client’s “wholly uncharacteristic” actions.

He told the judge that Farooq is a respected businessman with a wife and four children in Pakistan. He also said that Farooq would face “extra difficulties” in a prison in the UK, including language barriers and being kept away from his family for a while.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said the woman had an “utterly terrifying experience” and that he could not ignore the trauma she faced when Farooq assaulted her, WalesOnline reported.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half years and was put on the sex offender register for life, the report added.

“Understandably the effect on the victim has been quite profound, both on the night as described in the victim’s personal statement and it is plain for the court to see on this day some five months later,” the judge said.

“Many aspects of her everyday life remain affected. She was vulnerable but that didn’t stop you for one moment when trying to take advantage of her,” he added.

Following the sentencing, detective Inspector Emma Gardner said it “sends a clear message that we as a force, and society in north Wales will not tolerate any acts of this nature. I would like to pay tribute to the victim for their bravery throughout this legal process and encourage anyone who is subject to any similar type of incident to report it to us at the earliest opportunity.

“Your complaint will be dealt with in confidence, investigated thoroughly and you will be offered the necessary support. We remain committed to making north Wales the safest place in the UK.”

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