Jury out in takeaway boss child sex trial


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The Independent Online

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of a takeaway boss accused of committing a string of child sex offences against seven girls.

Azad Miah, 44, is said to have "hounded" girls to have sex for money while at the same time allegedly running a brothel from his city centre premises in Carlisle.

The married father-of-four is alleged to have incited six girls, aged from 12 to 16, into child prostitution, one of whom who he went on to pay for sex.

The Bangladeshi owner of the former Spice of India restaurant in Botchergate is also accused of paying for the sexual services of another child over a four-year period from when she was 14.

He denies all the offences and claims some of his accusers know each other and have conspired to lie about him because he stopped giving money to them out of generosity.

Miah did admit having secret extra-marital affairs with younger women but said he had no interest in under-age girls.

Opening the case at Carlisle Crown Court, Tim Evans, prosecuting, said many of the girls involved in the case came from troubled backgrounds or had drug or alcohol addictions.

He said they were targeted specifically because the defendant thought the police would be more likely to believe a respected restaurateur than them.

The persistent requests for sex were made face-to-face when girls came into or walked past the shop, or were made by telephone calls and texts, he said.

Miah's Bangladeshi staff members were also said to have been involved in the harassment, the court heard.

"This was cold, clinical, calculated exploitation of the desperate and vulnerable," Mr Evans told the jury at the start of the three-week trial.

Miah denies nine counts of paying for the sexual services of a child between 2005 and 2009, eight counts of inciting child prostitution between 2007 and 2011, and one count of keeping a brothel between 2005 and 2011.