Sabir Sharife guilty of attempted murder over horrific late-night knife attack on woman in Stoke Newington
PUBLISHED: 16:13 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:56 12 October 2017
A sex predator who followed a woman onto a bus and then tried to kill her in a Stoke Newington street is facing years in jail.
Sabir Mohammed Sharife, 31, grappled his victim to the floor in Rectory Road before pulling out a knife and slashing her repeatedly at about 3.30am on April 9.
Prosecutor Sarah Campbell said the attack would “send a chill down the spine” of anyone who had travelled across London late at night – and police believe he may have other victims.
The woman, 27, had been out with friends at the Queen Adelaide pub in Hackney Road and could not remember much of the attack. She told police days later: “At some point he pulled out a knife. In my memory the knife was big and I was shocked to see a blade.
“I think at that point I begged him not to hurt me. I said: ‘I thought you wanted to rape me’. I feel as though I remember saying: ‘You can do it but just don’t hurt me.’
“But then the next thing I seem to remember was the shock of realising he was going to hurt me anyway. There was a sensation of the knife going across my neck. I thought he was going to cut my throat. [...] I must have been struggling. I don’t know how I managed to get away.”
The victim, who gave evidence behind a screen during the trial, managed to escape after Sharife sexually assaulted her, and flagged down a car before police were called and she was taken to hospital.
CCTV played to jurors showed Sharife stood outside the Shuttleworth Hostel in Well Street, where he was living, when his victim walked past.
The court heard she had boarded the wrong bus before realising and getting off yards from his hostel.
Sharife then followed her to Mare Street where they both boarded the N253 towards Stoke Newington.
"Sabire Sharife actively sought out, targeted and preyed on a lone female late at night. The strength of evidence was overwhelming"
Sharife got off the bus at the same stop as the victim, and they were then seen on CCTV holding hands. The court heard how a witness had asked the victim if Sharife was bothering her but she had said he wasn’t.
Sharife, of no fixed address, was found guilty of attempted murder, sexual assault and possession of a bladed article. He had denied the attack, and told the court he had not followed the victim. He said he was going to his brother’s house in Angel to go swimming at 7.30am but then changed his mind and went home.
But tests found the victim’s blood on Sharife’s jeans, and when asked how it got there he said: “I think that must be something coming from [when we were] holding hands. It could be DNA.”
Det Con Rachel Lloyd said: “Sabire Sharife actively sought out, targeted and preyed on a lone female late at night.
“The strength of evidence was overwhelming, and that is why a jury have convicted him of the offences he committed and the impact they have had on the victim’s life.
“I would like thank the victim and acknowledge her determination and courage. Throughout the investigation she has been extremely brave and was determined to attend court.
“There may well be other victims of Sharife’s that have not reported the crime to police. We would urge them to come forward.”
Det Insp Neil Rawlinson added: “This was an extremely violent attack on a vulnerable female and she was lucky to get away with her life.”
He will be sentenced at a later date.