September 25, 2014
An asylum seeker who dragged a woman into bushes in Glasgow Green with intent to rape her was today jailed for four years.
Molon Baraka, 26, was caught because his terrified victim had the presence on mind to grab a library card with his name on it.
Baraka pounced on the 51-year-old woman as she walked through Glasgow Green in January this year – just three months after entering the UK as as an asylum seeker from Sudan.
Sentencing Baraka at the High Court in Glasgow judge Lord Matthews told him: “This is the stuff of nightmares. A woman was dragged into a secluded area in the dark thinking she was going to be raped.
“It may have been her screams and struggling which caused this episode to stop otherwise this serious case would undoubtedly have been even worse.
“We can only speculate what long term psychological damage will have been caused to your victim.”
Lord Matthews also ordered Baraka to be monitored in the community for two years after his release.
But stated that would depend on whether Home Secretary Theresa May orders him to deported after completion of his sentence.
Defence counsel Owen Mullen said that Baraka wished to apologise to his victim.
He added: “He is from Sudan then moved to Libya before coming to the UK claiming asylum in October last year. He was sent to Glasgow by the Home Office while his application was considered.”
Baraka , who is rated as at a high risk of re-offending, pinned the 51 year-old to the ground, but she bravely tried to fight him off.
She was able to get into one of his pockets and snatch a number of personal items – including a library card which allowed police to trace her attacker.
The attack happened as the woman made her way to work at a supermarket in the early hours of January 5 this year.
Baraka approached her in Glasgow Green and initially asked her for a cigarette.
He then said “money” and “sex”, but the woman ignored him.
However, prosecutor Gillian Wade QC told the court how Baraka then grabbed his victim and dragged her towards a long grassy area in the park.
Miss Wade added: “She begged him to let her go. She continued to struggle and screamed for help.”
Baraka eventually straddled the woman on the ground and demanded she be quiet. He then managed to force her trousers down, but the woman started to fight back.
She managed to put her hand in a pocket of his top and grab a library card, keys and a mobile phone.
The woman continued to cry for help, which eventually lead to Baraka fleeing the park.
Miss Wade told how the victim went to her work and told a colleague of her ordeal after breaking down hysterically.
Police were alerted and they later took the items taken from Baraka?s pocket.
The card had the name Molon Tonkh Baraka on it and a check at the city’s Hillhead Library gave police his address and a breakthrough in catching the attacker.
Officers later found him at his flat in the city’s Bridgeton hiding in a cupboard.
Baraka initially insisted he had not been in Glasgow Green, but then claimed he had been drinking at the time “for the first time in his life”.
He added: “Even if I have done it, I wasn’t conscious because nobody would do such a thing.”
It also emerged a roll-up cigarette close to the attack scene was found to have Baraka’s DNA on it.
Prosecutor Miss Wade told how the victim had been “distraught and frightened” as a result of what happened.
But, praising her bravery for trying to fend Baraka off, the QC added: “She showed courage during this sexually motivated attack on her.”