‘Obsessive’ student guilty of Sainsbury’s car park assault in St Albans

A UNIVERSITY student has been found guilty of imprisoning a young woman in his car and assaulting her in the car park of a St Albans supermarket.

Vibinmon Joseph, 25, held the woman inside a locked car which he parked in Sainsbury’s car park in Everard Way.

He was also found guilty of a charge of common assault on the woman from Luton on an earlier occasion.

The offences of escalating violence against the woman are said to have occurred during a campaign of “possessive and obsessive behaviour towards her.”

But Joseph, a student at the University of Wales, was cleared at St Albans crown court of raping the woman in his car as well as four offences of sexually assaulting her.

He was also cleared of kidnapping her and a second charge of common assault.

The jury were discharged from bringing in a verdict on a count alleging assault by penetration and the prosecution are to seek a retrial on that charge.

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Joseph of Newport, Gwent was remanded in custody. He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges during his trial but will not be sentenced until the outcome of the new trial.

Earlier the 26-year-old woman told the jury that before raping her Joseph had forced her to go through a bizarre wedding ceremony in his car which was parked in Stockwood Park in Luton. She said he placed a chain around her neck telling her it made her his wife.

She claimed he had stripped her and bound and gagged her during her ordeal in the car. He even produced a video camera to film her.

Giving evidence, Joseph told the jury she had tied him up and became upset when he wouldn’t have sex with her.

He claimed they had planned to marry back in their native India next year and he was not going to have full sex with her until their wedding

In the witness box the victim, an Indian student living in Luton, told the jury it was never planned that they would marry and she didn’t want a relationship with him.

During the trial the jury was told that Joseph became obsessed with the victim after meeting her last October when she came to the UK to study.

He bombarded her with texts and through internet chat forums and, according to the prosecution, he openly regarded her as his wife.

On January 27, he stopped her in Luton and forced her into his car. After driving her to Stockwood Park, where he produced a gold chain which symbolises marriage in India, he drove her to the Sainsbury’s car park where the attack occurred.