A man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman he met in Watford Town Centre and lured back to his flat.
Fared Amire, 26, was convicted by jury of one count of sexual assault on a female on Thursday 17 March, following a trial at St Albans Crown Court.
The court heard how Amire, who at the time was aged 22, was employed on a street food stall in Watford town centre in January 2019 when he met the victim, who also worked in the town.
Amire struck up a conversation with the victim before they exchanged numbers and a few friendly text messages.
On Friday 8 February 2019, the victim – then aged 24 – met Amire, who had given her the false name of ‘Peter’, for a coffee on her lunch break. Once they had finished the victim wanted to look around the shops and Amire asked to join her, to which she agreed, but he said he needed to collect something from his home first.
The victim accompanied Amire to his room where he proceeded to pull her on to the bed and sexually assault her. The victim managed to push him off and leave the room, before calling a work colleague in a distressed state and asking them to meet her. She then reported the incident to police and Amire was arrested on Sunday 10 February 2019.
He was later charged and first stood trial in February 2022, which after four days resulted in a hung jury. He was re-trialled this month and found guilty of the sexual assault charge. He was found not guilty of two additional counts of sexual assault.
Detective Constable Marius Edghill, from the Watford Local Crime Unit, said: “I would like to start by commending the bravery and resilience of the victim in this case, as not only has she waited three years for her case to come to trial, but she has been forced to give evidence in court twice.
“Amire lured her back to his room under false pretences, knowing full well what he was planning to do. The few text messages exchanged between the pair were not suggestive or sexual in any way, and at no point had the victim indicated to the defendant that she was romantically attracted to him.
“The victim trusted Amire and had no reason to expect anything untoward may happen. This is all on Amire – quite simply, he saw an opportunity to exploit the situation for his own sexual gain and he took it.”
Source: Herts Police