A “twisted” sex offender who targeted three lone victims in three days has been jailed after a transport police investigation.

The incidents occurred in March on-board trains in Essex.

In the early hours of Tuesday, March 15, the first victim was travelling on a London to Southend service when Izat Ullah, of Queens Road, Hull, approached and sat opposite her.

During the journey the 25-year-old began touching himself over his trousers and as the victim got up to leave he blocked her path, grabbed her and threw her back into the seat.

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He then put his hand on the victim’s upper torso and attempted to kiss her before she managed to break free and run into another carriage.

Officers arrested Ullah at Southend Victoria station and conveyed him to custody for questioning.

In interview Ullah refused to speak but laughed throughout.

At just after 8am on Wednesday, March 16 he was released on conditional police bail stating he could not use the railway network in England or Wales.

Later that day, at around 8.30pm, Ullah was again on a train in Essex and approached the second victim, an 18-year-old woman who was on her way home.

As he was sat opposite her, he exposed himself before placing his hand in his trousers and began masturbating.

He then leant over and tried to touch the victim who said, “don’t touch me”, to which Ullah replied, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”.

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The victim then moved away from him and as she did so he touched her inappropriately.

Just hours later, in the early hours of Thursday March 17, Ullah approached the third victim on a service travelling to Southend.

Throughout the journey he continuality stared at her and when she alighted at Southend East station he followed her until she got in a taxi outside the station.

He was arrested outside a children’s nursery the same morning for failing to comply with the Sex Offenders Register.

Ullah appeared at Hull Crown Court on July 1 where he admitted to three counts of sexual assault, one count of exposure and failing to comply with the sexual offence register requirements.

A judge at the same court sentenced him to 16 months imprisonment on July 20.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

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Detective Constable, Lucy King, said: “Ullah is a twisted offender who prowled the railway targeting lone victims for his own sexual gratification.

“He is clearly a danger to women and their right to travel safely and without fear. I’m pleased we were able to quickly arrest Ullah and put him before the courts.

“I would like to thank the three victims who bravely reported his actions and supported our investigation. No one should be subjected to this abhorrent behaviour on the railway.

“If you’re a victim of, or witness to, a sexual offence, I urge you to report it to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. No report is too small or too trivial – we will always take you seriously.”