Serial sex attacker targeted woman walking on dark Edinburgh street

A repeat sex attacker who targeted a woman in a deserted Edinburgh street has been handed a four year extended jail sentence.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 3:47 pm

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Americk Singh Bhai crept up on the lone victim and grabbed at her genitals from behind as she walked along the capital’s Calton Road

He fled but was recognised by a passing American tourist who later picked him out at an identity parade.

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Bhai targeted his victim as she walked home alone in Calton Road

Bhai, 38, denied the sexual assault charge but was found guilty by a jury in just 11 minutes after he stood trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this year.

He was remanded in custody and returned to the dock for sentencing.

Sheriff Daniel Kelly said: “This is terrible, and people are allowed to walk alone at night in the streets of Edinburgh, in this case that was around Waverley station, without the fear of an attack.

“It does seem you target women and this is the second attack to have taken place.”

Bhai, of Piershill Square East, Edinburgh, was caged for three years and will be supervised for 12 months following his release.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period.

Previously the court heard evidence from the victim who said she was walking along the city centre street at around 9.50pm on June 4, 2019 when Bhai pounced.

The woman, who cannot be identified due to legal reasons, said she was on her way home when a masked man ran up behind her and placed his hand on her privates over her clothing.

She told the jury: “It made me feel used. I was terrified, confused, scared, anxious and stressed.

“It has eroded a lot of my confidence [and has] affected me a lot.”

The woman said the assault has left her “scared” while out in some public spaces and has also affected her employment.

US tourist Kayleigh Wells, who gave her evidence via video link from a court building near her home in Illinois, said she spotted Bhai just moments after the sex attack.

The 26-year-old student told the jury the man she saw was “very short, with dark hair and a dark hoodie” and said he was of “Indian or Middle Eastern” appearance.

She added: “He had the creepiest eyes I have ever seen.

“I made eye contact with him and there was nothing there - his eyes were dead.”

She said she then came across the victim further up the road who told her the man she had passed was “the man who was responsible” for the attack.

The tourist gave a statement to the police and she subsequently picked out Bhai when she attended an identity parade the following day.

The court was told Bhai was traced and arrested near to the scene around an hour after the attack.

During a police interview he said he had been “walking about” the city centre while drinking cans of beer.

He told officers he “was on my own” all night and denied any knowledge of the sex attack.

But following two days of evidence the jury took just 11 minutes to return their unanimous guilty verdict.

Bhai carried out the attack just 14 months after being previously jailed for a sexual assault and an assault and robbery on two lone females.

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