Stoke Newington attempted murder: Sabir Sharife jailed for life for terrifying late-night knife attack

Sabir Sharife was found guilty of attempted murder and sexual assault at the Old Bailey. Picture: Me

Sabir Sharife was found guilty of attempted murder and sexual assault at the Old Bailey. Picture: Met - Credit: Archant

A sexual predator who followed a woman off a night bus in Stoke Newington and tried to kill her has been jailed for life with a minimum of 13 years.

Sabir Sharife, 32, left the Shuttleworth Hostel in Well Street and followed the victim onto the N253 in the early hours of April 9 last year.

He then trailed her along Rectory Road before tackling her to the ground and trying to pull her trousers down. When she fought back Sharife held a knife to her throat and tried to kill her.

The victim begged for her life and then managed to escape before flagging down a bus driver for help. She was left with very serious injuries.

Sharife, who had the victim’s blood on his jeans, was sentenced at the Old Bailey today.

He had been found guilty of attempted murder, sexual assault and possessing an offensive weapon at a trial in October, during which he told jurors he got the bus at 3am to go swimming in Islington.

Prosecutor Sarah Campbell said the attack would “send a chill down the spine” of anyone who had travelled across London late at night.

Most Read

The woman, in her late 20s, 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.”

Senior crown prosecutor Steve Harris said: “This was an unprovoked and violent attack on a lone woman who was pursued as she was making her way home.

“Sharife will now spend a significant amount of time in jail where he will no longer be able to prey on women. I hope this successful prosecution provides some comfort for the victim.”