Sex attacker struck as young Burnley mum slept in bed

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A DANGEROUS night-time sex attacker molested a young Burnley mum in her own bed after sneaking into her home last Christmas, a court was told.

Emdad Ali’s victim, who did not know him, had been lying next to her sleeping little girl in the early hours of Boxing Day when he crept into her bedroom and slipped his hand under the bed covers.

The woman assumed it was her boyfriend and told him: “Go away, I have got a four-year-old in bed with me.” Ali then told the woman: “You know you need it” and at that point she realised it was not her partner, reached for her glasses and saw the defendant kneeling at her bedside, Burnley Crown Court heard. The hearing was told the horrified and distressed victim pushed Ali out of her bedroom and down the stairs, yelling for her boyfriend. The defendant kept telling her repeatedly: “You know me.” Police were called and Ali was arrested.

Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said: “Fortunately, her daughter remained asleep in bed throughout this entire incident.”

Ali, who the court was told, was suffering from a severe schizophrenic illness, admitted sexual assault. The defendant, of Cromwell Street, Burnley, was made subject to a hospital order without restriction and will be detained at Pendle View Mental Health Unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

Mr Parker said the victim had spent Christmas Day with her family and went to bed at about 4-30am, leaving her boyfriend sleeping on the sofa. By the time she had pushed her attacker down the stairs, her boyfriend had woken up, come into the hall and got hold of the man. The victim phoned the police as Ali kept repeating the name Sarah.

Mr Parker said officers arrived at the property. The woman’s partner had hold of Ali to stop him making off and described him as not sounding drunk or under the influence of anything and chatting normally, saying he had been to the house before and that Sarah lived there. At that stage, the boyfriend was not aware of the sex assault and was under the misapprehension Ali was just an intruder.

Mr Parker continued: “The victim had never seen or met this male before and can only assume they must have left the back door unlocked and he just made his way in. She says at the time she was very, very shocked about what happened. The incident had left her very shaken and upset. The idea that somebody could just walk into her house and just touch her like that violated her in every possible way and sickened her due to the fact her four-year-old daughter was in bed with her at the time.”

Mr Parker said when Ali was questioned by police he gave a “very bizarre” explanation. He claimed he knew the person in the house. He said he had been out earlier on, had met this woman on the way home, had been talking to her, they had been kissing each other and she invited him back to her house.

Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendant the offence was serious and the victim continued to suffer from the shock and upset of what he had done.

The judge, who had read medical reports from two doctors, said Ali was suffering from a severe schizophrenic illness, which was partially resolving with medication and he had improved since taking it to the extent he had been fit to plead to the allegation.