Saturday, 12 May 2012

Students reassured after sex attacks

Local students are being reassured that reports of sexual assaults will be taken seriously by police after a man appeared at court for sentence.

In two separate incidents on 6th December last year, 38-year-old Shaukat Khattack approached female students from behind as they were walking alone in dimly lit areas close to Lancaster University’s campus.

Khattack, of Hutton Way, Lancaster, approached his first victim on Hazelrigg Lane and the second on the pathway leading towards Galgate village. He then made forceful and physical advances towards the women, trying to kiss them against their will.

Appearing at Preston Crown Court this week charged with two counts of sexual assault, Khattack was given a 12 month community order, a six week curfew from 8.00pm to 6.00am and a requirement to be on the sex offenders register for five years.

“These two offences were deeply distressing for the two students involved," commented Detective Constable Brian Shepherd, of Lancaster CID. "They occurred when the girls were alone, and in dimly lit areas where no other people were around. One of the victims was so distressed she is still receiving counseling.

“I am really grateful that the girls had the courage to come forward and report this to us," he added, "and I am also grateful to Lancaster University, who gave us their fullest cooperation in this enquiry. Both the police and the university take these kinds of incidents very seriously and I would urge students to report any sexual assaults to us.

”I want students to know that incidents of this nature are rare and Lancaster University is an extremely safe environment to live and study. However, I would urge all students to consider their personal safety whenever they are off campus. Think carefully about the route you are taking, avoid being alone in quiet and unlit areas and if you are on a night out take enough money for a taxi home - making sure that you use an official taxi firm for your lift.”

- Students can find further safety advice at www.lancs.ac.uk/sbs/welfare/safety.html .



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