Bradford Telegraph and ArgusKeighley man is cleared of attempted rape charge (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Keighley man is cleared of attempted rape charge

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The defendant appeared at Bradford Crown Court The defendant appeared at Bradford Crown Court

A takeaway worker has been convicted by a jury of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence against a woman walking home from a Keighley nightclub.

But Mohammed Ansar, 33, was acquitted of a charge of attempting to rape her.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday took fewer than three hours to reach its verdicts.

Ansar, 33, of Highfield Road, Keighley, was remanded in custody by the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

He also placed Ansar on the sex offenders’ register.

Judge Thomas adjourned the case for a sentencing hearing on April 8.

During the trial, prosecutor Michael Smith told the jury that Ansar had offered the woman a lift home early on August 26 last year when she was walking in Highfield Lane, Keighley.

Mr Smith alleged Ansar then tried to force her into the back of his car. The jury was told he chased her, hit her on the head and dragged her down a bank before trying to pull down her knickers.

The woman – in her 30s – said she escaped after hitting him on the head with her shoes.

In his defence, Ansar said the woman and her boyfriend were blocking the road and he had to stop his car. He said he had been dragged from his vehicle and assaulted by the man.

In response to the allegation of attempted rape, Ansar told the court that he “respected ladies” and would never do such a thing.

He told the jury he did not know how the woman came to be injured and that the couple had hatched a plot to lie to police to cover up the assault.

In his summing up, Judge Thomas told the jury: “This man came to this country three years ago and has a wife and young daughter.

“He has no criminal convictions, here or in Pakistan. Juries often take into account good character in the defendant's favour. It supports his credibility.

“There is also the point that he is deemed to be less likely to have committed the offence for which he is charged. This will arise in many cases. It can be weighed as a heavy piece of evidence.

“It has been said that the woman and her then boyfriend got together to concoct a false tale to cover up the assault.

“But the boyfriend questioned how they could make this up. He contended there was no time before police arrived and the pair were separated from that time.

“As for the woman, was she the distressed victim of a very serious sexual assault or someone lying in detail, making a false allegation?

“She had been drinking, but was she so badly affected it influenced her behaviour that night?

“If it was a conspiracy, it was concocted very early on.”

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