By: Shubham Ghosh
A man in south London, accused as a sexual predator, targeted schoolgirls aged between 12 and 14 in a series of assaults that even led to him getting caught by police on more than one occasion.
Goher Damani, 58, would often sit next to the girls he targeted on buses before they noticed his exposed genitals, MyLondon reported.
On a couple of occasions, the accused groped the girls’ breasts and touched their crotch before the cops caught him. After getting arrested in January 2021, Damani told the police that he had expected them to reach him sooner as he had been trying to get their attention and wanted to return to the prison.
The Inner London Crown Court heard that Damani of Clapham suffers from various mental health problems and expressed his desire to have sex with a 12-year-old girl. He has been sent to the hospital indefinitely under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act because of his illness and upon recommendations made by psychiatrists.
In August 2019, Damani had boarded the G1 bus around 3 pm at Tooting Broadway station and stood very close to a woman with a pushchair and her kid, the court heard. When she turned to look at the man, she noticed his exposed erect penis.
In October the same year, the man sexually targeted a 13-year-old girl on the same bus route. He sat next to her and used his bag, drink, and right hand to cover himself while touching her breasts.
There were two more occasions on the same day in December 2020 when Damani exposed his genitals on board buses, the report added. On December 3, a girl in school uniform saw the man waving his arms around while travelling on bus route 37 through St John’s Hill in Clapham and noticed that his sexual organ could be seen.
Another schoolgirl saw Damani with his genitals exposed later in the day on bus No.50 on Clapham Road.
She later said in her statement that the incident had made her “wary” of the surroundings and after the incident, she had changed her daily travel plan, MyLondon reported.
Two days later, on December 5, Damani sexually targeted a 14-year-old girl on a route 355 bus in Brixton Hill by allegedly groping her thigh and crochet after sitting next to her. The girl confronted him and two bystanders came to her rescue and reported the case to the police.
Next month, Damani was arrested.
The report said that the man’s mental health condition became worse after the arrest and he was admitted in hospital after becoming catatonic. Damani has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, catatonia, disinhibited personality disorder, recurrent depressive order, exhibitionism, and paedophilia.
For several months, he could only sit out of bed for an hour at a time.
The court also heard that Damani has a history of gambling and substance abuse and did not have home after getting divorced in 2019. Psychiatrists have felt less confidence about him despite an improvement in his mental health after he expressed his desire to have sex with a minor girl.
“You have now committed a series of five similar offences in a period of 18 months, you have persistently offended over a period of time,” Judge Vanessa Baraitser said while sending him to hospital.
“You are indeed suffering from a mental disorder and that it is of a nature and degree which makes it appropriate for you to be detained in hospital for you to receive treatment,” she said.
The judge also added that while Damani’s offending showed little suggestion that he had pursued his victims, they were “particularly vulnerable” due to their age.
Damani must also abide by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which is set to be in place for 15 years, the report added.