An illegal migrant from the African nation of Eritrea has been given a 13-year extended sentence for a series of “sinister” sexual assaults on lone women in the English coastal town of Brighton.
Hanok Zeray, 32, who broke into Britain illegally from Eritrea in 2021, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting at least six women in Brighton during the summer and autumn of 2o22 when he was out on bail from prison.
The illegal migrant, who has applied for asylum status to remain in the country was handed an extended sentence of 13 years and three months, with eight years and three months to be served in prison and the remainder on licence. However, Zeray will be eligible for parole after serving just five and a half years behind bars, Sussex Police said in a statement on Monday.
Sentencing at Lewes Crown Court, Judge Martin Huseyin told Zeray that is likely to be deported on release, unless his asylum claim is accepted, the local Brighton and Hove News reported.
Judge Huseyin said: “You carried out a very sinister and scary campaign of serious sexual assaults. It seems to me that women – particularly young lone women – are in real danger from you of serious harm from sexual offences in the future.
“That risk may be reduced in the future but at the moment you pose a high risk,” the Judge said, with the court hearing that on more than one occasion, he attacked at least two women in a single evening.
Judge Huseyin said that the migrant’s sexual assaults had life-changing impacts on some of his victims. He said that at least three of the women had expressed concern over his safety as he appeared to be intoxicated. Zeray, the judge said, repaid the kindness by sexually assaulting them.
An asylum seeker from Iran has been jailed for raping an elderly woman and sexually assaulting a child just ten months after he arrived in the United Kingdom. https://t.co/O86NawyDwy
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In one instance, the Eritrean national forced his hand up a woman’s dress and assaulted her to such an extent that she experience pain in her intimate area for weeks. “She said you were smiling as she tried to fight you off,” the judge said.
The woman did successfully film Zeray on her phone while urging him to stop and warning him that she was phoning for help from the police. When shown the footage, the migrant claimed to have difficulty remembering the incident.
Speaking in defence, Zeray’s lawyer, Greg Johnson said: “A major factor in his offending is that he was clearly drinking alcohol to excess,” and that “he would like to say sorry to each and every victim.”
Zeray admitted to sexually assaulting six women, however, the judge said that he believes there was a seventh victim, who was not tracked down by the police.
Superintendent Adele Tucknott, Sussex Police’s lead for violence against women and girls, said: “The behaviour shown by Hanok Zeray will not be tolerated in Sussex – from the persistent harassment of women through to the sexual assaults for which he has been jailed.
“Women and girls should be safe to walk the streets alone at any time of day or night without being targeted by predatory men.
“We have a range of measures to keep people safe at night and it is so important that any incidents are reported so we can take positive action.”
Illegal Boat Migrant Charged With Raping Woman Just Days After Reaching Britain https://t.co/nv0KHLrU3j
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