A SEX pest who pawed and propositioned women shoppers is a failed asylum seeker avoiding deportation.
The 23-year-old former Newbury College student told police he targeted the women because he was “desperate for sex”.
Hawkar Shwani has been given a deportation order and fired from his job operating a kebab van in Newbury town centre.
But the Home Office will only act if he was sent to prison, Reading magistrates heard on Tuesday, May 9.
Maddy Charlesworth, prosecuting, said Mr Shwani, formerly of Florence Gardens, Thatcham, but who now lives in Fifth Road, Newbury, groped his first victim as she shopped in Tesco in Pinchington Lane, Newbury.
She added: “He was spoken to by security staff – the woman was quite shaken by the incident.”
Mr Shwani then targeted a woman in nearby Boots, touching her bottom.
Ms Charlesworth said: “She spun round and asked what he thought he was doing.
“He apologised, but seconds later she felt further contact, this time more of a grab to her bottom.”
The woman shouted: “Get your hands off me”, the court heard, but Mr Shwani insisted: “Just talk to me”, before propositioning her, mentioning a sex act he wanted to carry out.
Ms Charlesworth said the woman was “shocked, embarrassed and humiliated”.
CCTV footage later showed Mr Shwani circling the aisle and masturbating through his clothing, magistrates were told.
In interview, Shwani apologised, admitted his actions and explained he was “desperate for sex”, said Ms Charlesworth.
Mr Shwani admitted two counts of sexual assault on April 13.
Robert Slinn, defending, said his client had risked his life to smuggle his way into Britain from Iraq seven years ago in the back of a lorry.
He was enrolled in a Newbury College course and worked at a kebab van in Newbury while his asylum applications were processed, the court heard.
But his bid to stay was rejected and all subsequent appeals failed, said Mr Slinn.
He said his client was remorseful, and added: “An immediate custodial sentence would very likely result in him being deported immediately.”
A probation officer told the court that, because of Mr Shwani’s status as an illegal immigrant, a sex offender’s treatment programme was not an option.
She added: “Because of his status we’re unable to offer intervention in the community.
“A deportation notice has been served on him and I asked the Home Office why he’s still in this country – he can’t claim benefits, has no work and no funds.
“They said if he receives an immediate prison sentence they will complete the deportation.”
Mr Shwani lost his job at the kebab van when authorities informed his employer, the court heard.
Presiding magistrate Brenda Harding told Mr Shwani: “These were very unpleasant incidents that will have had a quite profound effect on your victims.
“But we understand the position you’re in.”
The bench imposed a 16-week prison sentence, but suspended it for 12 months.
Mr Shwani was also ordered to pay a statutory victim services surcharge of £115.