A Tesco security guard bravely stepped in to stop a homeless man raping a woman near a supermarket.
Aron Hadjiouannou and his victim were in a service road next to Tesco Extra in Stafford when he subjected her to a sexual assault.
As he prepared to take the attack further, he was startled by a female guard who had called police after seeing events unfold on the store’s CCTV.
Stafford Crown Court heard the victim, who was in her 20s, had been out with friends in Stafford town centre the night before the August 18 attack, and had drunk a large quantity of alcohol.
She was taken home in a taxi at 3am, but later got a cab back into the town centre where she began talking to a group of rough sleepers, which included 29-year-old Hadjiouannou.
Prosecutor David Bennett said the Tesco security guard saw the defendant and the victim near the store at 7.40am, while she was on her break.
Mr Bennett said: “The defendant asked her for a cigarette. He said he had been out all night drinking, but she formed the opinion he was not intoxicated and had his wits about him. He walked away and at that point she noticed the complainant, who was lying on her back on the pavement.
“The guard went back inside the store and observed the CCTV. She formed the view the complainant was intoxicated and things didn’t seem quite right.
“At some stages the complainant seemed to be upset and was shouting at the defendant. At one stage they started to walk towards Newport Road and she could barely walk.”
The court heard Hadjiouannou and the victim then sat back down on the pavement. At one stage he gave her more alcohol to drink. Around 45 minutes after the guard had first spotted them, Hadjiouannou sexually assaulted the victim as she lay on the pavement.
Mr Bennett said: “The complainant appeared to be passed out. The security guard was so concerned she contacted the police. The defendant began trying to force the complainant’s legs apart.
“He lowered his own lower clothing and knelt between her legs. The security guard ran outside and shouted at the defendant to stop. He quickly got to his feet and ran off towards Newport Road.”
Police arrived a short time later. Officers detained Hadjiouannou in Victoria Park at around 10am that morning. He went on to plead guilty to attempted rape and assault by penetration.
Hadjiouannou, of no fixed address, was due to be sentenced yesterday but the case has been adjourned to await a toxicology report relating to the victim. The defendant was remanded in custody until November 1, when he will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.
Source – Birmingham Mail