A teenage kebab shop worker who chased after a woman on her way home from a Worcester nightclub and carried out a terrifying sex attack has been put behind bars.

Illegal immigrant Abdul Tekagac  saw the young student walk past in the early hours of the morning and was "captivated" by her, Worcester Crown Court heard.

He ran after her as she walked by the railway arches into the secluded Cherry Tree Walk and then grabbed her bottom with both hands, Nicholas Burn, prosecuting, told the court.

She thought at first it might be a robbery and held onto her bag but as she turned to face the 19-year-old, she heard him repeat "I love you" several times in broken English. He lifted her in the air and they fell to the floor with him on top of her and he put his hand on her breast inside her dress as he tried to kiss her. Police found his DNA in saliva taken from the victim after he "slobbered all over her," Mr Burn said.

She found the courage to struggle and shout and he ran away.

"It was a cowardly attack and the coward ran back to the refuge of his uncle's shop," Judge Michael Cullum said.

CCTV footage showed the woman, a student at Worcester University, leaving the Velvet Lounge nightclub in the early hours of April 11 this year and walking alone through the empty streets to go home. Tekagac, of Wyld's Lane, Worcester, had stepped outside Worcester Kebab House in Shaw Street, where he was working, to read a text message from his girlfriend in Turkey and the footage showed him running after her and waiting until she was in a deserted area.

After the attack, he could be seen running back to the shop and carrying on working. He pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Mark Sharman, defending, said he had no explanation for chasing after the woman other than that he was "captivated" by her. He was in the country as an illegal entrant and had already been visited by officials with a view to his deportation.

"He can't explain his actions," Mr Sharman said. "It was an impulsive act."

Mr Sharman said Tekagac had brought shame on himself and on his strictly Muslim family, particularly his uncle, well known in the city through his ownership of the kebab shop.

Tekagac had not intended to harm the woman or cause her fear and distress and all he wanted to do now was return to Turkey.

Judge Cullum said Tekagac could be considered a dangerous person because he had no explanation for his actions and there was a risk he could strike again.

He said the woman, who had given up her studies partly as a result of the attack, had found the courage to struggle and shout which had scared him away because he thought he might be caught.

"By the time you left her, she was physically shaking and crying," he told Tekagac. "Her fear must have increased when she heard you say you loved her and she knew this was a sexual assault. She thought she was going to be raped."

He gave Tekagac a three-year sentence in a young offenders institution and ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.

DC Craig Osbourne said “This was a predatory sexual attack, which has had a hugely traumatic impact on the victim. Thankfully attacks like this are rare, but as this case exemplifies they are taken very seriously.

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this case for their help not only in tracing the offender but in supporting the victim of this horrendous crime.”