Asylum seeker Deliveroo driver, 34, who tried to rape a woman by World War One memorial in late-night attack is jailed for six years and faces deportation
- The attempted rape happened in an alleyway next to the Portsmouth Cenotaph
A Deliveroo delivery driver has been jailed for six years and now faces deportation after he tried to rape a woman by a World War One memorial.
‘Opportunistic’ Tesfagabriel Gebrzgabhi was riding his ‘distinctive’ neon green bike with a Deliveroo bag on the bag before targeting the drunken woman who was on her own.
In the ‘terrifying’ late-night attack, the 34 year old – who is an asylum seeker and came over to the UK on a small boat – pinned the woman in her 20s against a wall by the war memorial and pulled her skirt up.
The attempted rape happened in an alleyway next to the Cenotaph in historic naval city Portsmouth, Hampshire.
The memorial is just yards from Portsmouth’s Guildhall Walk, a popular nightlife spot where the woman had been out drinking with her friends on February 1 this year but became separated.
Tesfagabriel Gebrzgabhi was jailed for six years for his crime
Around 10pm, when the woman was walking on her own, Gebrzgabhi targeted the woman in the alleway.
At Portsmouth Crown Court, prosecutor Gary Venturi said: ‘He approached her and took her by the arm and pushed her against a nearby wall and pulled her skirt up.
Despite her intoxication she was able to remember saying ‘what are you doing? Get off’.
‘The exposed defendant replied, ‘it’s fine, let me do it’. He then tried to pull down her shorts she was wearing under her mini dress.’
The woman, who can’t be identified for legal reasons, managed to fight Gebrzgabhi and pulled out her mobile phone to try to record the attack.
Mr Venturi added: ‘It’s clear he was trying to penetrate her but was unsuccessful as the charge reflects. She was crying and telling him she did not know him.’
The woman told the court she now needs counselling. She said: ‘I find it very difficult outside when it’s dark and try not to walk anywhere alone. I ask friends and family to accompany me.’
She described herself as a previously ‘strong, independent woman’ and now ‘hates having to rely on others’.
She added: ‘I love people but I now doubt people. I hate him for that. I hate that he approached me and tried to have sex. I know that if I had let go of my shorts he would have had sex with me.’
Gebrzgabhi was arrested a week after the attack after police officers spotted him on his neon bike back at Guildhall Walk. His semen was found on the woman’s clothes.
He was jailed for six years and four months and now faces deportation following the ‘despicable’ attempted rape.
Barrister Richard Onslow, defending Gebrzgabhi, said he was ‘deeply ashamed’.
The shocking attack took place near the Portsmouth Cenotaph in the dead of night
Mr Onslow said Gebrzgabhi came to the country on a small boat to ‘seek a better life’ before he was sent to Portsmouth where he knew no one and barely spoke any English.
Jailing him, Judge Michael Bowes KC said the woman was ‘all but’ raped before adding: ‘You tried to penetrate her but you were unsuccessful because she pushed back and was wearing shorts.’
The judge concluded the victim had suffered ‘serious psychological harm’ and Gebrzgabhi, who admitted to probation he wanted to rape the woman, was found to be a ‘high risk of harm to women’.
Gebrzgabhi, from Portsmouth, admitted one count of attempted rape.
Police Constable Sarah Ball, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘This was an extremely concerning and opportunistic assault on a vulnerable woman, I would like to commend the victim for her courage in disclosing what happened that night and assisting our investigation.
‘The impact that his actions have had on the woman involved are unmeasurable and I hope that this sentence helps to bring some closure to and allows her to move on in her life.’
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