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Man jailed and banned from trams after sexual assault conviction

A man who sexually assaulted a woman and a teenage girl on trams in Manchester has been jailed for three years.

Tahir Ali, 34, of Lees, Oldham, was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order that will ban him from any Metrolink tram, platform or car park.

Ali was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault at Manchester Crown Court after his offending was uncovered following an investigation by Greater Manchester Police's Transport Unit.

Ali intentionally touched the two females in a sexual manner on trams in the city centre, despite being challenged.

Working closely with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), an investigation commenced into the reports with analysis of CCTV and witness and victim accounts from the tram network and platform.

Ali was identified from CCTV images, and charged and remanded.

PC Matthew Cowin, of GMP's Transport Unit, said: “This sentence shows our commitment to keep passengers safe and in the knowledge they can use the transport network without any concerns around their safety.

“Violence against women and girls will not be tolerated, and our proactive patrols are the reason we provide visible enforcement and reassurance to all passengers.

“This investigation and the bravery of the victims to report and recount their experiences have ensured we have been able to apply and be granted a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which has strict restrictions in place to prevent re-offending due to the risk he poses because of his behaviour.

“Working alongside TfGM we encourage all passengers to report any incidents directly to officers and staff in person, or by calling 101, in full confidence.

"Alternatively, where women who may feel trapped and unable to call 101, they can use the Live Chat on our website to link in directly with a GMP call handler.

“The call points on platforms at stations and red call points on board trams can also connect you to the Bee Network 24/7 control room.”

TfGM’s TravelSafe Partnership Manager, Kate Green, said: “Tahir Ali used busy services to try and mask his offending, which he did brazenly and while surrounded by dozens of people. 

“Thanks to the bravery of his victims in coming forward and the work of the TravelSafe Partnership – in particular the police – following these offences, he has now been brought to justice. 

“We are committed to ensuring our passengers feel safe and confident to use our region’s transport networks, and while incidents like this are thankfully rare, I hope this sentence goes some way to reassuring customers, in particular women and girls, that we will do whatever we can to bring people like Ali to justice.”

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