Jail for train Sex Attacker Who Left DNA on St Albans Victim's Sock

PUBLISHED: 14:26 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

Guilty - Sanjay Vyas

Guilty - Sanjay Vyas

A man who sexually assaulted a lone St Albans woman on board a late-night train was caught after he left traces of his DNA on one of her socks. Sanjay Vyas, 43, was jailed for 18 months today (Friday, 15 January) at Southwark Crown Court following an inve

CCTV images before the attack

A man who sexually assaulted a lone St Albans woman on board a late-night train was caught after he left traces of his DNA on one of her socks.

Sanjay Vyas, 43, was jailed for 18 months today (Friday, 15 January) at Southwark Crown Court following an investigation by British Transport Police (BTP) detectives.

Vyas, of Mill Hill, London, carried out a 15-minute attack that saw him molest his 25-year-old victim on board a train from St Pancras to St Albans.

He was subsequently identified and arrested after a public appeal for information, which featured CCTV stills of him pictured at St Pancras station.

BTP investigating officer, Detective Constable Tony Gittins, said that DNA recovered from the victim's sock proved crucial in placing him at the scene of the crime.

He continued: "Soon after the attack we managed to recover DNA from the victim's sock and submitted it to the National Database for registration."

"After Vyas was identified as a possible suspect and arrested we conducted a forensic test to obtain his DNA. This was sent for comparison with the sock sample and provided the crucial match we were looking for."

Vyas targeted the woman, who had been for a night out with friends, in the early hours of Friday, 21 November 2008, after he spotted her on a bench at St Pancras station where she was waiting for her train.

He boarded a separate carriage to the woman, who had fallen asleep shortly after the train departed from St Pancras at around 3.20am.

Vyas then entered her carriage and woke her up before removing one of her shoes and a sock to start massaging her foot. He proceeded to sexually assault her before disembarking the train at Mill Hill Broadway.

He claimed that the woman had been a willing participant during the incident and pleaded not guilty to the offence, but a jury found him guilty.

Det Con Gittins said: "This was a sickening encounter for the victim. Although she did not suffer any physical injuries, the emotional and psychological effects of what happened have been huge."

He added: "Offences such as this are not common on the railway and hopefully this conviction, which was made all the more possible by the existence of DNA technology, will help to give the victim some closure on what happened."

Vyas was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for a period of 10 years and was told to pay £2,000 in legal costs.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser