‘Every woman’s nightmare’ – Convicted rapist dragged woman into bushes whilst she was waiting for the bus

A convicted rapist who dragged a lone woman into some bushes whilst she waited for the bus has been jailed for life.

Omar Alam, 50, was spotted by the victim as she waited at the bus stop on Palatine Road after she had finished work.

The woman noticed him staring at her as he walked towards her which made her feel ‘nervous and uneasy’, Manchester Crown Court previously heard.

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As she looked away she felt an arm come around her shoulder and neck before she was dragged with force into some nearby bushes.

Alam, of Oldham, told her: “It’s OK, you’re coming with me”.

The force of his grip was such that she was breathless and struggled to fight back.

The terrifying incident only came to an end when a passing car beeped their horn and shouted: “Get off her”.

The woman, who previously worked for the NHS, has since suffered panic attacks and has had to leave her job due to the stress from the attack.

Manchester Crown Court
(Image: ABNM Photography)

Alam was convicted following a trial of the offences of kidnap and kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence.

He also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and failing to notify of a change in circumstances whilst he was still subject to the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The court heard in February 2005 he was convicted of an offence of rape and sentenced to six years imprisonment as part of a 15-year sentence.

Prosecutor Matthew Curtis previously told a jury that on July 25 2019 the victim left her place of work at around 4.30pm and was waiting for the bus outside St Cuthbert’s Church.

As she looked for the bus she noticed Alam was ‘staring at her’ so looked away.

“A couple of minutes later, she felt an arm come around her shoulder and her neck,” he said.

“With force, she was pulled into the bushes to her right.

“The defendant said, “It’s OK, you’re coming with me.”

“The force of the defendant’s elbow forced into her throat left her without breath and without any power to fight back.”

As Alam dragged her away he pushed a sharp object into her right side, which left her with a scratch to her lower back.

Whilst he forced her towards the church grounds, the woman screamed and shouted ‘Help’ as she tried to resist, MrCurtis said.

She had been holding onto her purse during the incident, and threw it on the ground thinking he would take it, but Alam ignored her and said aggressively: “Shut up, you’re coming with me”.

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Minutes later, a passing car distracted Alam by beeping the horn and shouting at him to get off her.

In a statement, the woman said she had to take sick leave from work and has since resigned from her position in the NHS after 11-years.

She said the attack had affected her relationships and said it affected her in social situations.

“She felt fear and anxiety, she became anxious and felt like she’d let others down,” the prosecutor added.

Alam was said to have previous convictions including a number offences of robbery against women and an offence of rape.

Mitigating, his defence counsel Kay Driver said: “His stance has not changed, he still denies the offence.

“I am not seeking to minimise the seriousness of the offence, clearly this was a very frightening offence which has had a long lasting effect on the complainant.

“But I would say on his behalf that the length of the detention was brief.”

She added: “There was some planning but it was not sophisticated.”

Sentencing, Judge Alan Conrad QC: “You present a continuing risk to the public, in particular to women, of sexual and physical violence.

“You are, in short, every woman’s living nightmare.”

Alam, of Abbey Hills Road, was jailed for life to serve a minimum term of six years and 25 days in custody before he is considered for parole.

Police Sergeant Chris Turner, said: “This was an absolutely terrifying ordeal for the victim who was simply trying to get home after a day at work and I am very pleased that Alam has now been taken off the streets.

“I would like to thank the victim for her bravery in helping us with our investigation and the members of the public who stepped in to help following the incident.

“I’d also like to thank Rachael Yarwood from the Crown Prosecution Service and the prosecution Barrister in the trial Matthew Curtis, both of whom have been outstanding in making sure that Alam has been brought to justice.”

Senior Crown Prosecutor Rachael Yarwood, of CPS North West, said: “These offences have had a devastating impact on the victim’s life. She showed incredible bravery in giving evidence against her attacker.

“Without her evidence we wouldn’t have been able to secure this conviction and sentence, which will protect the public from Alam in the future. I hope today’s sentence will bring her a measure of comfort.”

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Manchester Evening News – Oldham