A married father-of-one has been jailed for 21 months after he took a teenage girl to a hotel and engaged in sexual activity with her.
Naveed Hanif committed the offences more than two years ago, but the abuse of the 15-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, only came to light during a wider police inquiry.
Hanif’s lawyer Rachim Singh submitted that his client’s case was a one-off incident and it was disputed that there was any “grooming” involved.
He said the offences involved “consensual acts”, but he added:”The defendant was older...he should have known better and stopped.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the teenager had a troubled personal history and was in the habit of drinking alcohol, taking drugs and being in the company of older males.
“It is apparent that she falls into the category of a vulnerable young girl who, without much thought for her own safety, was leading a life which was causing her considerable unhappiness,” noted Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC.
The judge added that in reality any “grooming” of the girl had taken place before the offences committed by Hanif.
Prosecutor Caroline Wigin told the court that on the night of the offences the girl had been picked up in Hanif’s car and taken to the hotel.
In the hotel room Hanif sexually touched the girl and she performed oral sex on him. Hanif, of Hopwood Lane, Halifax, was said to have told the teenager he was only 22 when in fact he was over 30. The now 34-year-old, who has served long jail sentences for drugs offences in the past, admitted the sexual activity with a child offences at a previous hearing before Judge Durham Hall.
Mr Singh urged the judge to consider imposing a suspended jail term with various requirements including a sex offender treatment programme, but Judge Durham Hall said it would be completely inappropriate to suspend the prison sentence.
Judge Durham Hall said he had no reason to disbelieve the girl’s claim that they shared cocaine in the hotel room, but he accepted that it been “a consensual evening”.
As part of the sentence Hanif will now be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for five years, which bans him from making contact with the complainant, and he must also register with the police as a sex offender.
Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Craig Lord of the Calderdale Safeguarding Unit, said: “Today’s result shows how seriously we take such allegations and follows a long and detailed investigation by the Calderdale Safeguarding Unit. The judge recognised this work by commending the work of officers.
“It is vitally important that victims of sexual offences have the confidence to come forward and tell officers what has happened to them. I can reassure victims that they will be listened to and they will be taken seriously. The conviction of Hanif shows we will always take positive action against the perpetrators of this crime.
“I would like to praise the victim in this case who had the strength to come forward and tell us what happened and allow us to bring Hanif to justice.”