A south London man who leapt from a moped to rob and sexually assault two women, one in Lewisham, has been sentenced to over seven years in prison.
Shahan Ali, 23, of Peckham, who pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court at an earlier hearing, was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment. Police are still searching for his accomplice who drove the moped.
Ali committed the crimes by leaping off a moped, trying to steal handbags and sexually assaulting the women he targeted. His partner, who drove the moped, waited on the vehicle while Ali attacked the victims.
Detective Constable Henry Vernon, part of Operation Venice, the Metropolitan Police initiative to tackle the rise in moped associated crime, said: “Ali and his accomplice targeted lone females and subjected them to protracted sexual assaults.”
Vernon also said the driver still presents a risk to the public. He was seen riding a black moped, wearing a black helmet with black clothing and a balaclava.
Operation Venice was set up following a massive increase in criminals using mopeds and scooters in London, with crimes involving mopeds rising to more than 16,000 in the year ending June 2017, compared with just 5,100 in the previous 12-month period.
The first sexual assault happened in November, when a 19-year-old woman was walking to work in Lewisham, when she realised she was being followed by a moped being driven on the pavement.
The moped continued to follow until Ali jumped off the bike and forced the woman up against a wall. Ali attempted to steal the woman’s handbag and sexually assaulted her. The woman was able to relieve herself from Ali and run away. Ali then escaped on the moped.
A few days later, Ali sexually assaulted another 19-year-old woman three times on the same occasion in a similar attack in Southwark.
Ali escaped on the moped but left DNA on the second woman. This led to his arrest on November 20.