Indian tourist jailed in UK for sexually assaulting sleeping woman on plane
Hardeep Singh of Hoshiarpur, Punjab, was on a six-month UK tourist visa, when he assaulted the woman in her 20s sitting next to him as passengers around them slept during the long-haul flight.Updated: May 10, 2019 18:08 IST
An Indian tourist who sexually assaulted a woman during a flight from Mumbai to Manchester in February and was arrested on landing, has been jailed for a year and faces deportation to India at the end of the sentence.
Hardeep Singh of Hoshiarpur, Punjab, was on a six-month UK tourist visa, when he assaulted the woman in her 20s sitting next to him as passengers around them slept during the long-haul flight. The woman managed to free herself and informed the crew, who alerted the Manchester police.
Singh pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault at Manchester’s Minhull Street Crown Court on Thursday, and was sentenced to 12 months in jail.
Catherine Evans of the Greater Manchester Police said: “From the outset of the flight, Singh’s behaviour was despicable. After checking the woman was unaccompanied, he began to invade her personal space, pestering her and making unwanted physical contact, despite the passenger making it clear she did not want to engage him in conversation”.
“Waiting until the woman and surrounding passengers were asleep, Singh subjected the woman to a prolonged sexual assault, forcibly restraining her when she tried to move away. Numbed with fear, it was only after she summoned the strength to overpower him that she was able to run away and raise the alarm,” she added.
The police were waiting for Singh at the Manchester Airport when the plane landed and he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. He initially denied the offences. He was based in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, the court was told.