Attempted rapist who preyed on women in Dalston is locked up for 12 years

Usman Tahir, who was sentenced to serve 12 years in jail. Credit: Met Police

Usman Tahir, who was sentenced to serve 12 years in jail. Credit: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A vile opportunist who tried to rape two vulnerable women late at night has been jailed for 12 years.

Usman Tahir, of Ridley Road, Dalston, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court today for attacks that happened in May and September last year.

In September, Tahir approached a woman in Dalston Lane and ushered her into a nearby street before sexually assaulting her.

The victim managed to fight Tahir off and ran to a passer-by who called police.

Despite extensive CCTV enquiries and attempts to track down witnesses, Tahir managed to avoid capture.

But he was snared thanks to DNA retrieved from the attack, which police managed to link to a previous similar unsolved case from May which bore the same hallmarks.

In this attack, Tahir had followed a woman before forcing her to the ground and punching her in the face repeatedly as she tried to fight him off.

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After scouring CCTV, police arrested Tahir on September 28 as he returned home.

He was wearing the same clothing and carrying the same bag as the male captured on CCTV running from the scene days previously.

Today, Tahir was sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted rape in May and eight years for the attempted rape in September. The judge ruled he must serve a total of 12 years.

Det Const Adam Knott of the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command said: “Usman Tahir actively sought out, targeted and preyed on lone vulnerable females late at night for his own sexual gratification.

“I would like thank his two victims and acknowledge their courage throughout this investigation. Both were determined to attend court and see justice done.

“The sentence handed down to Tahir today reflects the gravity of both offences and the effect they have had on the victims’ lives. A dangerous offender has been taken off the streets.

“We work tirelessly to identify and prosecute offenders and want the public to report any assaults to us, safe in the knowledge that we will listen to and support them.

“We have teams of specialist officers ready to help and excellent links with other support services.”