Carlisle takeaway boss jailed for child sex

 

A takeaway boss has been jailed for 15 years after paying under-age girls for sex and inciting others to become child prostitutes.

Azad Miah, 44, targeted his victims in what the prosecution at Carlisle Crown Court described as a "cold, clinical exploitation of the desperate and vulnerable".

The married father-of-four paid for the sexual services of two teenagers who were both introduced to him by the same woman.

One of those girls was encouraged to have sex with him out of desperation for cash when she was 15, while he had a sexual relationship with the other, a heroin addict, when she was aged between 15 and 17.

A jury also found the Bangladeshi national guilty yesterday of inciting three other girls, one as young as 12, into prostitution, while running a brothel above his former Spice of India shop in Carlisle city centre.

The court heard the 12-year-old complained to police on three occasions about him persistently harassing her in 2008, three years before his eventual arrest.

She said she eventually gave up complaining because nothing was done.

In the wake of Miah's arrest in March 2011, she was asked at the start of her police interview if she knew why she was being questioned.

She replied: "Because of something that happened three years ago and now youse have finally decided to do summat about it."

She was bombarded with up to 50 texts a day from Miah, who demanded sex. He told her that "in his country it didn't matter about age".

Today, Judge Peter Hughes QC said police needed to learn lessons from not heeding her complaint and that there were a number of "missed opportunities".

Many of the girls in the case were addicted to drugs or came from troubled backgrounds. Some were known to local care authorities.

Miah targeted them because he thought they would easily give in to his persistent offers and would be less likely to be believed than the apparently respectable local businessman and voice of his community that he purported to be.

Prostitutes at his brothel were also asked to find young girls, who he described as "fresh meat".

The court heard that money would change hands at the shop in Botchergate where Miah's Bangladeshi employees and workers from other takeaways in the city would pay for sex.

Miah was jailed for a total of nine years for four counts of paying for the sexual services of a child between 2006 and 2009, one year for keeping a brothel between 2005 and 2011 and five years for five counts of inciting child prostitution.

He was cleared of child prostitution allegations relating to two other girls.

Miah had denied all the charges as he claimed his accusers conspired with each other to concoct false stories because he stopped giving them money "out of kindness".

Judge Hughes said: "This case reveals the seedier side of life in our town and city centres and what can happen to vulnerable and immature girls.

"There are lessons from this case for all of us to learn.

"There are lessons for parents to learn whose responsibility it is to protect their children.

"There are lessons for those responsible for safeguarding vulnerable teenagers from deprived backgrounds and without appropriate parental care and guidance.

"There are lessons to be learnt by the police to be ever vigilant to detect signs of the possible exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people, and to take seriously what they say however chaotic and difficult their lives may be.

"A sad feature of this case is that there were a number of occasions when witnesses complained to police or community support officers about the defendant pestering them but their complaints were not taken further. As a result, opportunities were missed.

"And there are lessons for all us as individuals and members of charities and voluntary groups to take the problem seriously."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions