Woman sexually assaulted and punched in ‘vicious’ attack at Eastbourne station

Eastbourne Railway Station SUS-151109-105117001
Eastbourne Railway Station SUS-151109-105117001

A man who sexually assaulted a young woman before punching her in the face has been given a suspended jail sentence.

British Transport Police, who carried out the investigation, said Umit Turkel, 48, of London Road, Benfleet, was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court on November 30.

He was given a six-month jail term suspended for 24 months and placed on the sexual offenders register for seven years, said officers.

The court heard how Turkel approached his victim outside Eastbourne railway station where she was waiting for a lift home with a group of friends.

He rubbed her shoulder before inappropriately touching her, said police.

Officers said that when she complained and pushed him away he punched her several times in the face before a member of the public intervened.

Investigating officer DC Imogen Sweeney said, “This was a nasty and vicious assault on a young woman who was simply waiting with friends at the station for a lift home.

“Turkel deliberately began an interaction with the group before groping his victim. He then punched her in the jaw when she objected.

“This distressing incident was obviously hugely upsetting for the victim and her friends and we applaud her for having the courage to come forward to report it to us.

“Tackling all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour on the rail network is a priority for us.

“We will always investigate thoroughly and do all we can to bring the offender to justice.

“Unwanted sexual behaviour is anything which makes you feel uncomfortable, whether it involves rubbing, groping, masturbation, leering, sexual comments or indecent acts.

“We would encourage anyone who thinks they have been a victim to come forward. You can call us on 0800 40 50 40 or text us on 61016 to report an incident.”

Turkel must also pay £850 court costs, a victim surcharge of £140 and £150 compensation to the victim.