A ‘CREEPY’ restaurant boss who forced himself on a much younger woman after trying to get her drunk has been found guilty of sexual assault.
Nadeem Aslam, 36, manager of the Memsahib restaurant in Queensgate, Huddersfield, made a series of inappropriate comments to a woman in her early 20s before his behaviour progressed to an incident of ‘sexual touching’ in which he grabbed her and kissed her on the lips.
Aslam, who denied the charge of sexual touching, was found guilty yesterday after a short trial at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court in Huddersfield.
The woman told magistrates that Aslam, who is married with four children, had previously made comments of a sexual nature, had placed his hands on her hips as he walked by and had called her “beautiful”. Aslam’s behaviour had made her feel “uncomfortable”, she told the court.
On the evening of the assault, she found herself alone in the restaurant with Aslam and became “panicked” when he put his arm around her.
“He put his arm around the back of the chair I was sitting in. I was really panicking. He pulled me in and kissed me. I froze and pulled back, sprung to my feet, grabbed my bag and said I was going into town,” she told the court.
Aslam, she said, then tried to kiss her again.
“He put his hands on my upper arms and said ‘let’s pretend we are in the Camel club (a nightclub in Huddersfield) and leaned in to kiss me again. I swerved away. He said something and kissed me again. He said he wanted a ‘big goodbye’.”
The woman told the court the restaurant door was locked and Aslam began “laughing and joking” that he could not find the keys.
“I was really panicking at that point,” she added.
“He came over one more time and tried to kiss me – his hands were on my arms. He got the keys out of his pocket and unlocked the door and I left.”
Earlier that evening she had texted a friend to say that Aslam was “being creepy” towards her.
A friend of the woman who saw her the following day described her as “white as a ghost” and it was agreed she would contact the police.
The friend said: “She sounded really upset and was crying. She was just panicking. I had never heard her like that; it didn’t sound like her.”
Another friend who saw the woman shortly after the incident said: “She could not speak at first. She looked really upset and was quite distraught. She said she had been pushed and grabbed inappropriately.”
During a police interview Aslam denied that anything inappropriate had happened and claimed the woman had kissed him. He denied pouring her drinks and rejected accusations he had made inappropriate comments to her.
Aslam, of Olive Street, Fartown, Huddersfield, claimed that the woman had been “drinking and smoking” but that he himself had only consumed “one sip”.
Andrew Sugden, defending Aslam, called the case “somewhat bizarre” and questioned the woman about why she had not left the restaurant earlier and why she had been drinking alcohol with Aslam.
Magistrates found Aslam guilty after deliberating for around 30 minutes, Sentencing was adjourned until May 10 for a probation report to be completed.