Man who sexually assaulted 15-year-old girl at train station blames ‘cultural differences’
A man who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a train station says it was a misunderstanding due to ‘cultural differences’, a court has heard.
Somalian-born Ali Abdullahi, 34, committed two sex attacks against two females and approached a third woman while catching the train from Torquay to Bristol in December 2013.
He first approached the 15-year-old girl at the station and ‘behaved completely inappropriately’, the court was told.
Later that day, he then approached another slightly older victim who got on the train travelling towards Bristol Temple Meads.
Judge Cottle said: ‘You behaved completely inappropriately towards her. The sex offending was not of the most serious kind but would have been extremely frightening to both girls.’
Abdullahi, from Bristol, then approached a third woman, a student, at the station in Bristol.
She did not report physical contact but had been left worried by his conversation.
Despite his guilty pleas at Exeter Crown Court, Abdullahi did not think he had done anything wrong.
The security guard told police that he came from a conservative culture and did not understand the sexual boundary between men and women in the UK.
Adrian Chaplin, mitigating, said Abdullahi had been trying to ‘establish a rapport’ with the females and felt frustrated.
Mr Chaplin said: ‘He comes from a conservative culture in Somalia and misunderstands the extent to which ordinary polite engagement and interaction should or should not be seen as a precursor towards seeking to be physically close to someone in the way this case reveals.
But the judge rejected his mitigation and said the offences could not be put down to cultural differences, adding that they were simply sexually motivated.
Abdullahi was given a community order and told to attend a sex offender course designed to improve his conduct with young women.