A SOUTH Petherton man accused of waging a campaign of harassment against a woman living in the village has appeared in court facing charges of sexual assault and stalking.

Majed Islam allegedly followed the victim on a daily basis for more than seven months as she took her children to school and walked her dog, and on one occasion he was said to have put his hand on her bottom.

Islam, 36, of Compton Durville, was charged that on October 20 at South Petherton he intentionally touched a woman aged over 16 in a sexual manner when she did not consent.

It was also alleged that between March 1 and October 20 he pursed a course of conduct which amounted to stalking and caused the complainant serious alarm or distress and had an adverse effect on her usual day-to-day activities in that he had been following her regularly when she had walked her dogs, and he had also been attending her home address.

Prosecutor Julyan Stephens told Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil that the complainant claimed she had been followed on a daily basis while taking her children to school and about three or four times a week whilst walking her dogs.

On one occasion he attempted to confront her and it was alleged he had put his hand on her bottom.

Islam did not enter any pleas and the magistrates said the case was so serious that he must stand trial at Taunton Crown Court and adjourned the case until January 9 when he must attend a preliminary hearing there.

In the meantime he was released on bail with conditions to live and sleep at his mother’s address in South Petherton, not to communicate in any way directly or indirectly with the complainant and must not enter a specified road in South Petherton unless in the company of his mother.