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Dhanji Punja, 42, was today jailed for five years, with an Girl looking for secxs Liverpool two years on licence, for the terrifying attack. A danger to women dragged his victim from a city centre street and towards a secluded alley so he could sexually assault her.
Dhanji Punja claimed he only wanted to kiss his victim, but a judge didn't believe him and ruled he had intended to sexually assault her. The year-old preyed on the lone woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, as she walked on Lord Street on July 12 last year. Liverpool Crown Court heard he has ly sexually assaulted a woman on a train and lay on a shop floor to look up a woman's skirt.
The judge, Recorder Tom Gilbart, said: "She was out in Liverpool city centre and was with several others in a bar drinking. As she made her way alone through the city centre she was looking at her mobile phone. You moved the victim against her will across the street. Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by ing up here. Recorder Gilbart added: "In her statement she described trying to fight to get away but being unable to do so. Fortunately three security guards nearby saw what was happening and intervened - at which point Punja let go of his victim, and when police arrived he was arrested.
Recorder Gilbart said: "Police officers who arrived at the scene described her as looking very distressed and shocked.
It's no wonder. Gerald Baxter, prosecuting, detailed how In a victim personal statement the woman said she was now too frightened to go out on her own. Mr Baxter said: "She can't go into Liverpool on her own because she thinks about 'walking down Lord Street and past the alley where the man tried to pull me towards'. The woman said she "couldn't imagine seeing that street again", adding "I just couldn't go to Liverpool city centre".
The court heard the woman has been unable to sleep Girl looking for secxs Liverpool "lies awake thinking about what happened. Punja, of Stanley Street, Liverpool city centre, has four convictions for four offences. Recorder Gilbart, outlining the offences, said: "In you were convicted of outraging public decency when you lay on the floor of a shop in an effort to look up a woman's skirt. As a result of that conviction you were made the subject of notification requirements.
You breached these requirements and were cautioned for that. Stuart Nolan, defending, asked the judge to consider the amount of partial credit that should be awarded for Punja's guilty pleas. Recorder Gilbart noted that following his conviction for sexual assault Punja said he would "reduce his use of alcohol and address it" but he has gone on to commit another sexual offence eight years later.
Mr Nolan said: "It is also important to state at this point the conviction is some distance away - there have been elements of control over alcohol misuse. He asked the judge to consider the time Punja has served in custody during the pandemic and that he "indicates his remorse". Recorder Gilbart, sentencing, said: "This was a frightening and quite an outrageous attack on a woman on a street.
Your act was only foiled because of others.
Liverpool's courts are some of the busiest in the UK, with a huge variety of cases being heard each week. To get a behind the scenes look at how they work and the moments that don't make our stories, subscribe to our free weekly Echo Court Files newsletter, written by court reporters Neil Docking and Lauren Wise.
The judge added: "This was a predatory act by you, seizing an opportunity to try and take advantage of this victim. This was a disgraceful offence. Referring to the victim's personal statement Recorder Gilbart said: "She can't face walking past the place where you did this.
The judge explained there was an issue with Nolan's basis of plea, forcing the victim to relive the events in a Newton hearing - a form of mini trial based on the facts of a case which is also referred to as a 'trial of issue'. Recorder Gilbart said: "The crown's case was you kidnapped the victim with the intent of raping her, your case was you kidnapped her with the intention of kissing her.
The judge said: "The victim was upset in parts of evidence and couldn't bring herself to watch CCTV footage of the incident. Following the hearing the judge accepted neither the prosecution case nor Punja's but said there was an intent to commit a sexual offence. The judge noted that the case is "mitigated by the fact you suffer from an identified mental disorder of alcohol misuse" and "to a small extent by your expressions of regret to the author of the psychiatric report".
Judge Gilbart said Punja was a "dangerous" offender and jailed him for five years, with an extended two years on licence.
Punja will then only be released before the end of his five-year sentence if a parole board considers he is no longer a risk. By Lauren Wise Court reporter. Get the inside track on the big stories from Liverpool Crown Court with our weekly newsletter Invalid Something went wrong, please try again later. Subscribe now We use your -up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you.
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