Man jailed for indecent assault on train


A Bangladeshi asylum seeker has been sentenced to at least 15 months in jail for stalking and indecently assaulting a blind woman on a Sydney train.

Rubel Sheikh, 26, followed the 23-year-old woman to Ashfield station in July last year before boarding a train with her.

There he touched her breast twice, told her she was "sexy" and repeatedly asked for a "goodbye kiss", the woman said.

At the Sydney Central Local Court on Wednesday, Sheikh was sentenced to 20 months' jail, with a minimum term of 15 months, for aggravated indecent assault and stalking.

In sentencing, Magistrate John Andrews said Sheikh had preyed on the vulnerable woman and exploited her disability.

But his barrister Jonathan Cohen argued the victim had proved to be "no shrinking violet" by telling Sheikh to leave her alone and wasn't violently threatened.

"The stalking was for ... the purpose of legitimately making a pass at her," he said.

"The fact that it went horribly amiss is another issue."

He said Sheikh had come to Australia by boat in April last year after his life was threatened in his homeland.

He'd become isolated, lonely and depressed after making the journey, and had been "overwhelmed" when he assaulted the young woman.

But Crown Prosecutor Vanessa Rochibaux rejected the suggestion the assault was minor.

"It was an extremely vulnerable situation that the victim was in - on a moving train with this disability and not being able to retreat," she argued.

Sheikh listened to the sentence with the aid of an interpreter, but showed no emotion throughout.

Given time already spent in custody, he will be eligible for parole on October 30 this year, when he'll likely be deported.