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Man who tried to rape stranger he met in Carlisle is jailed for more than a decade

Joseph Mjemer

A MAN who tried to rape a stranger as she slept just hours after meeting her in central Carlisle has been jailed for more than a decade.

The city’s crown court heard how the woman was “very drunk”, “staggering” and “effectively being popped up” by Joseph Mjemer after the pair met at a Lowther Street bus stop in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Mjemer, 36, and the woman went to a city centre flat where she woke several hours later to find him naked and trying to rape her.

“I panicked,” the woman later told police of the incident. “I said ‘what are you doing’; you need to stop; that’s wrong; I was asleep’.”

Having taken the woman’s mobile phone – which was never recovered – Mjemer left the flat and boarded a bus to Scotland. Police swiftly identified him as a suspect after promptly viewing CCTV and learning he’d given his details to British Transport Police at Carlisle railway station on New Year’s Eve after being ejected from a train. They arrested him at his Elizabeth Street home in Glasgow.

Mjemer was brought to court and acquitted of two charges alleging rape after a trial – but was convicted of attempted rape by a jury which returned unanimous verdicts. He was sentenced this afternoon (THURS), when Judge Paul Lawton concluded that Mjemer had inflicted “severe psychological harm” on his victim after hearing an impact statement.

On a previous visit to Cumbria, in November 2017, Mjemer had clocked 137mph during a 40-mile cross-border police pursuit which ended when he crashed into a wall in Penrith town centre. The court heard today of his previous convictions for dishonesty and that he had almost two dozen aliases. In 2012 he was branded a “one-man crime wave” by a judge who punished him for a string of other offences.

Jailing him today for 11 years for the attempted rape, Judge Lawton said: “It is quite clear on the evidence that you treated her as a sexual object for your own gratification with no regard whatsoever for her feelings and emotions.”

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Deborah Story, North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “I am pleased that Joseph Mjemer is rightly now in prison for his horrendous crime.

“I would like to praise the bravery of the victim in this case for disclosing what happened to them and for the strength they have shown throughout our investigation.

“I would also like to thank all the witnesses that came forward. Their support has assisted this investigation immensely and has helped put a dangerous offender behind bars.

“I would like to reiterate our commitment to investigating thoroughly any reports of sexual abuse. I would urge anyone who has been subject to offences of this nature to come forward, you will be believed and any report will be dealt with professionally and sensitively.”

Detective Constable Deborah Story, North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “I am pleased that Joseph Mjemer is rightly now in prison for his horrendous crime.

“I would like to praise the bravery of the victim in this case for disclosing what happened to them and for the strength they have shown throughout our investigation.

“I would also like to thank all the witnesses that came forward. Their support has assisted this investigation immensely and has helped put a dangerous offender behind bars.

“I would like to reiterate our commitment to investigating thoroughly any reports of sexual abuse. I would urge anyone who has been subject to offences of this nature to come forward, you will be believed and any report will be dealt with professionally and sensitively.”

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