A sex offender who repeatedly groped and touched young woman on trains and tubes across London has been jailed for 14 months. 

Hailu Getemariam, 24, of no fixed address, stalked carriages across the Transport for London network looking for lone women to sexually assault. 

On one occasion he sat next to a woman on an otherwise empty train carriage then stroked her leg, while another time he stood directly behind a woman on the London Underground and groped her. 

“Mr Getemariam, you are a pervert,” Judge Freya Newbery told him at a sentencing hearing on Wednesday (November 15). “You are seeking out young women on public transport to touch them sexually.” 

The first incident took place on March 25 when refugee Getemariam boarded a train at Denmark Hill

He sat next to a woman, despite the carriage being nearly empty, and began rubbing his fingers up and down her leg and thigh. 

As he did this he rested his leg on the seat in front, leaving the woman feeling trapped, the court heard. 

As the terrified woman got off the train at Beckenham Hill she turned and shouted at Getemariam. 

“You suggested that you had accidentally touched her when you reached for your mobile phone, but that was simply not true,” Judge Newbery said. 

News Shopper: Hailu GetemariamHailu Getemariam (Image: BTP)

Then on April 18 Getemariam was at a Northern Line station where he spotted another young woman who he then followed onto the Tube. 

“It was quite crowded but you stood right behind her and pressed your body into her. You touched her bottom with your hand and then you placed your hand in between the top of her thighs,” Judge Newbery said. 

He kept his hand on her thigh for around five minutes. 

“She was really scared. At a stop where some people got on and off she moved to the other side of the carriage, but you followed her and stood opposite her quite close and stared at her,” Judge Newbery said. 

The woman kept her gaze away from Getemariam then rang the police when she got off. 

A few weeks later, on May 10, Getemariam boarded another train where he stood close to another woman. 

He then tapped her genital area a few times over her clothes. 

“When she realised what was happening she moved away of course, but when she saw that you then touched another woman on the bottom she filmed you,” Judge Newbery said. 

Getemariam denied all the charges but a jury found him guilty of three sexual assaults. 

He has been in prison since his arrest in May. 

Defending Getemariam at his sentencing hearing, barrister Matthew Ness said: “This is his first period in custody, it has been a difficult period for him and he’s suffered anxiety and stress as a result of his situation.” 

The court heard that during Getemariam’s time in prison he was the subject of a number of assaults. 

The 14-month prison sentence Judge Newbery gave him means that he will be released within one month as he will have served half of that time. 

When he’s released he will be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) which states that if he travels on the TFL network he must use an Oyster card registered in his own name to pay. 

The SHPO also state: “You must not sit immediately next to, touch, or make any attempt to communicate with any unknown female while you’re travelling on the TFL network.”