Guernsey Press

We don’t want this behaviour to become normalised – police

Three incidents of indecent behaviour might have gone unpunished had police not received a complaint of sexual assault against Mahmoud Farag.

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Detective Inspector Ian Tanner, left,and Detective Sergeant Tom Lowe speaking after the conviction for sexual assault of 23-year-old Mahmoud Farag. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 33131751)

Farag had denied the charge, but was found guilty at trial.

But he admitted three counts of behaving in an indecent manner. These had come to light only when police officers played back CCTV footage from inside Folies d’Amour nightclub of the night the sexual assault took place.

The incidents involved Farag touching other women on their breasts and bottoms, but they were not reported.

Now police are anxious to assure women that any reports of such assaults will be investigated.

Detective Sergeant Tom Lowe said Farag was identified by friends of the victim of the sexual assault and arrested later that night.

But having seen the other offences when reviewing the footage, officers identified and found the victims of the other incidents.

DS Lowe said that none of them wished to press charges of sexual assault, so the cases proceeded using the indecent behaviour offence.

Detective Inspector Ian Tanner said police would urge victims to report such assaults.

‘We want people to feel that they can come forward and report such incidents and we will investigate them fully. We will spend the time and we will do the necessary – CCTV inquiries, witness inquiries and anything else – to try to see conviction where we can.

‘We don’t want this behaviour to become normalised.’

If victims were concerned, there was also a lot of support in place for them, such as the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Victim Support and specially-trained police officers.

Special measures could also be put in place for evidence to be given at a court hearing, such as a video link or screen to avoid people having to see the defendant.

‘We want to reassure people that Guernsey Police do take this very seriously,’ said DI Tanner.

‘You should be able to go out any time of the day or night and have a drink and not be subjected to a sexual assault. If you are then we want to know, because we will investigate it.’