Dangerous rapist put his hand up woman's skirt on escalator at Leeds railway station during rush hour

Carl Hannam
Carl Hannam

A woman was sexually assaulted on an escalator at Leeds railway station by a convicted rapist as she travelled home from work in rush hour.

The young woman was horrified as she felt something touching her thigh and discovered Carl Hannam crouched down behind her with his head under her coat and his hand up her skirt.

Hannam was out of prison on licence at the time for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl over her school uniform.

He was also jailed for nine years in 2004 for raping three woman.

Hannam, 43, was made the subject of an extended prison sentence totalling ten years after a judge said he posed a serious danger to females.

Leeds Crown Court heard the woman was making her way home from work at 6.30pm on October 9 last year when she was targeted.

Rukshanda Hussain, prosecuting, said the woman was talking on her mobile phone as she went up an escalator and felt something touch her leg.

She ignored it at first but turned around when she felt something touch her thigh.

She turned around and screamed as she saw Hannam crouched behind her with his head under her coat.

The woman called Hannam a pervert and ran up the escalator to alert station staff.

Hannam ran down the escalator and left the station.

Read more: Man armed with knives arrested outside Leeds primary school
CCTV footage of the incident showed Hannam following the woman and looking under her skirt before getting on to the escalator.

He was arrested after a media appeal was launched by police to catch the attacker.

Hannam's probation officer recognised his image and contacted police.

The defendant was arrested at the bail hostel in Leeds where he had been staying after being released from prison on licence just two months earlier.

Diaries were found at the hostel which Hannam had written around the time of the offence in which he fantasised about sexually assaulting children and touching them under clothing.

Hannam denied any wrongdoing when he was arrested.

He claimed he had only bent over on the escalator to adjust his electronically monitored curfew tag as it was hurting him.

Hannam continued to deny the offence but pleaded guilty to sexual assault today, shortly before he was about to go on trial.

The victim had attended court to give evidence against him at the hearing.

She watched via a secure video link from another room in the court building as her attacker was sentenced.

Hannam's barrister, Edward Moss, said: "He knows there is no mitigation that can be put forward."

Hannam was told he must serve a custodial term of four-and-a-half years followed by an extended licence period of five-and-a-half years.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said that the diaries discovered at Hammam's hostel were a "worrying feature" of the case.

He said: "It contained some lewd thoughts of sexual assaults on girls and young females."

Describing the attack on the woman, he said: "It was a degrading thing to do.

"As a result of what you did she feels insecure.

"A young woman doing no more than going home from work now feels paranoid and worried about going to the station."

Read more: Man tried to kidnap four-year-old girl on street
Hannam, formerly of Turner Avenue, Illingworth, Halifax, was locked up in 2004 after he carried out sex attacks on three women.

His violent behaviour only came to light when he told his own probation officer about a series of attacks and during police questioning he admitted having "uncontrollable thoughts of raping someone''.

At the time Hannam told police he had fantasised about raping women since he was about 17 and described himself as a dangerous person who needed to be stopped.

In an interview Hannam told officers: "I can be a lovely, nice, caring person and I'm not daft. I'm an intelligent man, but I can be very, very evil and I don't know how to stop myself.''

The court heard that during the final rape Hannam threatened his victim with a kitchen knife.

After his release from prison for those offences, Hannam went on to sexually assault an 11-year-old girl in May 2017 by touching her over her school uniform.

He was made the subject of an extended sentence of 42 months but committed the Leeds railway station offence soon after his release on licence.