An elderly man who sexually assaulted a woman on a tube has received a suspended prison sentence and been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Jalal Badakhchani, 71, of Southfields Park, North Harrow, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday.

He was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 24 months and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.

He was also ordered not to travel on the Underground except between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Euston Square station for 24 months, issued with a 12 month supervision order and must undertake a sexual offender’s programme.

The assault happened at 6.15pm on June 12, 2012, on an eastbound Central line train as it travelled between Holborn station and St Paul’s station.

The court heard how Badakhchani stood facing the 36-year-old victim, from Essex, before repositioning himself to stand behind the woman and then sexually assaulted her.

Plain clothes pickpocket squad officers were patrolling at the time and were watching Badakhchani as they saw him close to the victim’s bag.

They witnessed Badakhchani sexually assault the woman and one of the officers immediately arrested him as he left the train at St Paul’s.

Badakhchani, a professor, denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury of sexual assault on a female over 13 at Blackfriars Crown Court January 7.

Speaking after the sentencing, Sergeant Phil Briggs, the investigating officer, said: “I’d firstly like to commend the victim for providing an excellent account of what happened and for having the courage to stand up and give evidence against Badakhchani in court.

“While this type of offence is extremely rare, we know that it can be an extremely upsetting and intimidating experience for anyone who is a victim.

“We take sexual assaults very seriously and do everything we can to identify and arrest those responsible.

“I urge anyone who suspects they have been a victim of an offence like this to report it to police so that it can be investigated.

“Reporting the offence is crucial as it helps detectives to build a picture of an offender’s behaviour and establish their pattern of travel across the network. We can then increase police patrols and secure CCTV evidence, leading to an increased likelihood of an arrest and conviction."