Crown may appeal sex beast’s sentence

THE Crown Office is “considering whether there are any grounds” to appeal the sentence given to a private hire driver convicted of sexually assaulting two teenagers in the back of his car.

Asif Bashir, 43, of Groathill Loan, Drylaw, was given 300 hours of community service after being found guilty of carrying out the separate attacks a year apart.

The victim’s parents are campaigning to have his sentence increased, filing submissions to the procurator fiscal urging an appeal on the grounds of “undue leniency”. Now the Crown Office has confirmed it is looking at the case.

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A Crown Office spokesman: “Sentencing is a matter for the court.

“The Crown will consider whether there are any grounds for lodging an appeal against this sentence, on the basis that it may be unduly lenient.”

In the first attack on November 8, 2009, Bashir picked up his 19-year-old victim in George Street and had taken her home to the Haymarket area when he pounced.

He fondled the girl before touching her private parts through her clothing and then carried out a sexual assault.

On November 20, 2010, Bashir was driving another 19-year-old girl from Edinburgh to Fife when he assaulted her outside her home, fondling her through her clothes.