JUSTICE caught up with a sex attacker yesterday more than 10 years

after he raped a woman with Down's syndrome, writes Bruce McKain, Law


Lord Abernethy jailed Mohammed Aslam, 38, for four years and told him:

''The fact that in this case the victim was a young woman with a medical

condition shows it was a particularly mean and cowardly offence.''

Aslam denied rape but was convicted by a jury last month of raping the

woman, now 33, in a house in Edinburgh on April 13, 1983. Lord Abernethy

deferred sentence until yesterday for reports.

The Judge was told at the High Court in Edinburgh that the woman was

walking home when Aslam approached and persuaded her to go with him to a

house which belonged to one of his relatives.

Once inside the house, he forced the woman to lie on the floor and

removed her clothes before raping her.

Aslam was later questioned by police but no charges were brought.

Aslam had already arranged to go to America and was arrested when he

arrived back at Heathrow airport nearly 10 years later.

Mr Peter Macdonald, defence counsel, said yesterday that during the 10

years Aslam had twice openly returned to Edinburgh, once to attend his

brother's funeral, the second time, in 1991, for medical treatment.

Mr Macdonald said Aslam was a first offender and had stayed out of

trouble over the past 10years.

Aslam had been subjected to racial abuse and had been held in

protective custody.

Lord Abernethy accepted that there were mitigating factors in the

case, particularly that Aslam had no previous convictions, and that the

offence took place 10 years ago and the victim had suffered no physical


Apart from the evidence of identification by the victim, Aslam, of

Rossie Place, Edinburgh, was linked to the rape by DNA evidence.