Radio Sandwell Local News

Smirking sex pest convicted of bus assault

2015-01-28 21:39:55


A man who groped a woman on a bus in Erdington has been convicted of sexual assault - the latest success in a police and public transport initiative designed to protect passengers from sexual harassment.

Samba Joof, from Woodwells Road in Ward End, stroked the woman's leg and put his arm round her shoulder to demand a kiss after sitting next to the 23-year-old on a late night service in Erdington.

West Midlands Police officers working on Project Empower with the Safer Travel Partnership - a union between police and transport groups - released images of the assault taken from CCTV cameras on board the 11C bus.

Within 24 hours several members of the public got in touch to name 49-year-old Joof as a suspect having seen the images on Facebook and popular blog #birminghamupdates.

And at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (January 16, 2015) he was handed a seven month prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay £700 costs after admitting sexual assault.

Samba Joof
Crime: Samba Joof's arrest came after police vowed to crackdown on a spate of similar attacks

Joof, now living in Watford, must also notify police of his whereabouts - such as address changes - for the next 10 years.

Project Empower was launched last February to fast-track enquires into reports of sexual touching, lewd comments and indecent exposure and to urge passengers to report unwanted sexual advances on buses, trams and trains.

The team has investigated almost 100 allegations and made 26 arrests ... 11 of whom have now been convicted whilst several others are awaiting trial.

Samba Joof
Sentence: Joof was convicted of sexual assault and given a seven-month prison sentence suspended for two years

The West Midlands bus network is monitored by an extensive CCTV network - including 11,000 cameras on board buses - so offenders run a high risk of being identified.

One of those cameras recorded Joof boarding the 11C bus just before 11pm as it travelled in Bromford Road on 6 April last year.

He sat next to the woman and began stroking her leg before putting his arm around her and moving in for a kiss. In interview Joof, an industrial cleaner, claimed he "mis-read her body language" and wanted a kiss as she was "a nice girl".

An image of the offender was circulated in the press, TV and on social media and when Joof was named as a suspect officers arrested him on 3 June from his work address in Bromford Lane, Stechford; a search of his home uncovered a coat that matched the one worn by the offender.

The woman told officers she was very scared, too scared to shout out or tell him to stop. People should be free to go about their lives without fear of being harassed and, with the help of the public, we can stamp out this sort behaviour.

We would like to thank the people who got in touch with information, especially those who named Joof as a suspect, and anyone who took time to view the images and share them with social media friends.

Offenders need to know that this type of behaviour won't be tolerated.


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