Mohammed Akram – from Glasgow

Killer and sex attacker off the leash after judge rules he’s not a risk to public. 

Mohammed Akram has won a legal battle to halt police checking up on him following attack on 16-year-old.

Mohammed Akram has won appeal. 

A killer who also sexually abused a teenager has won a legal battle to stop police running checks on him.

Mohammed Akram was handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order when freed from prison. 

The 57-year-old was told to report to a police handler and had contact with women curbed after being convicted of a serious assault on a 16-year-old girl.

Now, police will no longer be able to monitor his activities and have to lift tough restrictions on his movements.

Sheriff Nigel Morrison ruled there was not enough evidence to show that Akram still posed a risk to the public.

At the High Court in Edinburgh in 2003, Akram was sentenced to eight years in prison and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life after assaulting his teen victim.

He was released on parole but was then convicted of sexually abusing a four-year-old girl in 2012 and jailed for life.

However, the conviction was overturned a year later after the victim’s evidence was deemed unreliable.

Akram, who remains on the Sex Offenders’ Register, also served five years in prison for killing a 46-year-old man in 1979.

The decision to remove his SOPO is thought to be the first of its kind in Scotland. There are now fears other offenders will launch similar appeals.

Ex-Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: “This guy’s chaotic lifestyle indicates he presents a measure of threat to vulnerable and young women.

“If this doesn’t fit the profile of a sex offender, it is difficult to imagine what would.

“One wonders if the right evidence was gathered and properly presented with impact.

“We would do well to make sure any shortcomings are not repeated in the future.”

Former Crown Office chief prosecutor Brian McConnachie QC added: “The fact that he is already on the Sex Offenders’ Register means he will still be subject to a measure of supervision.

“It may be that the police are not used to having to appear and justify their SOPOs. They are more used to people just accepting them.”

Conditions of Akram’s SOPO included him informing police of every relationship and contact he had with unrelated adult females.

His appeal case was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court over four days in April and May.

The court also heard how Akram, from Glasgow, was questioned by police about the alleged rapes of three women in 1993, 1996 and 1997.

One of the victims was an 18-year-old woman with a mental age of 12. Akram was never charged in relation to the attacks.

Police Scotland applied for a SOPO in April 2014 after the offender was identified as a future risk following a meeting of Mappa – Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. 

Mappa are tasked with the management of registered sex offenders and include representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service and the NHS.

During the hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, psychologist Dr Ewan Lundie said the risk of Akram reoffending was high – based on his past behaviour.

In May 1979, Akram, who was then living in Glenrothes, was convicted at the High Court in Dundee of killing labourer Robert Johnston and robbing him of a pension book.

He had originally been charged with murder but admitted a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

The High Court heard that Akram, then only 18, left his victim dying after the attack in Glenrothes behind a pub on December 27, 1978. 

Armed robber steals at least £10k from worker delivering cash to ATM in Shettleston

Akram was sent to a young offenders’ institution to serve his sentence.

Police also argued that there were similarities between the attacks in 2003 and 2011 and that Akram probably had carried out the latter attack on the four-year-old despite his conviction being quashed.

His police handler, DC Howat, also claimed that he was hostile to her on two occasions, once outside his home and in court.

However, Dr Ian Stephen, a former director of rehabilitation services at the State Hospital in Carstairs, told the court that the risk of Akram reoffending was low to moderate, not high. 

In his judgment, Sheriff Morrison dismissed the hostility claims by DC Howat and similarities between the 2003 and 2011 attacks.

He also said he did not believe that Akram had carried out the 2011 attack.

The sheriff, who ordered police to pay costs, added: “I could not be satisfied that on the balance of probabilities 

that the defender had sexually assaulted a four-year-old child.

“In all the circumstances, I consider that a SOPO should not be imposed.”

A legal insider said: ”People on the Sex Offenders’ Register have to let the police know when they change their address and place of work.

“The SOPO is significantly stricter than that. It controls who you can speak to and who you meet

“It’s very rare that they are opposed, even rarer that they are refused and are normally only for the most serious sex offenders.”

Akram’s solicitor Mark Thorley declined to comment.

Police Scotland said: “The chief constable believed that Mr Akram had acted in such a way as to give reasonable cause to believe that it was necessary for such an order to be made.”

Akram refused to comment.

Convicted killer and sex attacker walks free after appeal judge deems 5-year-old girl incapable of giving meaningful evidence

Mohammed Akram, 53, was sentenced to life after indecently assaulting a four-year-old girl during a New Year’s Day party but has been freed by appeal judges.

December 2013 

Mohammed Akram has convictions for homicide and sex attack. 

A convicted killer and sex offender who got a life sentence for molesting a four-year-old girl has been freed by appeal judges.

A trial heard claims that Mohammed Akram, 53, sneaked into the little girl’s bedroom and indecently assaulted her during a New Year’s Day party.

But it was ruled yesterday that the conviction was unsafe after appeal judges said the child became distracted during a two-day stint as a witness.

Akram had protested his innocence since the allegation against him was first made.

Giving evidence at his trial via CCTV, the girl, then aged five, said a man had “touched her tuppy”.

Appeal court judge Lord Eassie, sitting with Lords Bracadale and Wheatley, watched footage of the child’s marathon court ordeal. They said her attention wandered, she tried to leave the room and refused to answer questions.

Lord Eassie said: “By the second day, if not earlier, the child had been rendered incapable of engaging meaningfully with the process of giving evidence.”

The judge said because of that, the girl could not be questioned properly by Akram’s lawyer.

But what finally gained Akram his freedom was the way trial judge Lord Brodie gave the jury instructions on how to consider DNA evidence and whether it backed up the little girl’s story.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran, for the Crown, conceded that it was “a material misdirection” which amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

After he was initially convicted of indecently assaulting the girl on New Year’s Day in 2011, it was revealed that Akram had been caged for five years in 1979 for culpable homicide.

In 2003, he was jailed for eight years for a sex attack on a 16-year-old student and he was still on licence at the time of the 2011 allegation. Lord Brodie judged Akram to be a danger to the public and handed him a lifelong restriction order.

He ordered Akram to serve a minimum of one year but warned that he would stay in jail until the parole board agreed he no longer posed a threat.

After Akram was freed yesterday, Children 1st chief executive Anne Houston said: “The failure of the authorities to act in the best interests of a very young victim and to consider how she might have been better supported to give her best evidence has undoubtedly led to this outcome. Such a young child should never have been expected to give evidence over two days.”

Scottish Labour justice spokes-man Graeme Pearson said: “Cases like these try the public’s patience. If the key issue was a misdirection, then there is nothing to be lost in a retrial.

“In addition, the expectation of a five-year-old participating in a two-day examination for the court is unreasonable.”

Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, said: “Expecting a very young child to go through the gruelling process of giving evidence for an extended period of time is inappropriate.

“We must look at the best ways to ensure that the evidence of very young children can be heard and taken into account.”

February 2004

Taxi driver guilty of sex attacks. 

Akram was found guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court. 

A taxi driver is facing jail after being convicted of indecently assaulting a woman and a teenage girl in his cab.

Mohammed Akram carried out two separate attacks on his victims – aged 44 and 16 – in Glasgow’s south side last year.

The 45 year-old had denied the allegations, claiming they were “a pack of lies”.

But the private hire driver was found guilty of both charges at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Sheriff Rita Rae told him: “If you were to be believed these people made up accusations of similar indecent conduct by you.

“In my view, all of the witnesses were wholly reliable and credible and I believe them – I do not believe you.”

Lewd comments

The married father-of-four, of Govanhill, Glasgow, was immediately placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

The court heard how Akram had picked up the 16-year-old and her friend in the city’s Paisley Road West following a night out in April 2003.

They had originally called another company, but it did not show up and they asked Akram – who had been waiting nearby – if he would take them home.

Akram began making a series of lewd comments soon after they got in.

The court heard he asked the girls if they were “lesbians” and had they “ever been with a black man before”.

Akram indecently assaulted his teenage victim at traffic lights.

The victim punched Akram’s registration number into her mobile phone and called police when she got home.

Sentence deferred

Another incident occurred in November when Akram picked up a 44-year-old woman from her home in the city.

She told the trial the driver had demanded more money after the fare had been paid and then forced her to commit a sex act on him before letting her leave the cab.

Akram – a driver with Glasgow firm Pacific Cars – claimed he had been at home when the incident with the 16-year-old happened.

He also denied attacking the other woman and alleged that he had been racially abused.

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports.


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