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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Carlisle brothel boss guilty of trying to recruit child prostitutes

Cumbria police are "very pleased" that a Carlisle curry house boss has been convicted of trying to recruit vulnerable child prostitutes – one as young as 12 – while running a brothel.

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Related: Carlisle takeaway boss in child prostitution trial lived a double life – court

Azad Miah, who had sex with teenage girls, was also convicted of paying for the sexual services of one girl over a four-year-period from when she was 15.

A jury at Carlisle Crown Court took nine and a half hours over two days to convict Miah, who ran the Spice of India on Botchergate, of 10 of the offences against five girls on the 18-count charge sheet.

Following his conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Huddleston, who led the investigation, said: “We are very pleased with the verdict and await the sentencing of Azad Miah.

“These are very serious crimes over a period of years which impacted on the victims.

“The crimes being committed were against young, vulnerable girls who have been very brave in coming forward and providing evidence.

“We supported the victims throughout this enquiry and continue to do so. Their evidence was most crucial to the conviction.”

Linda Vance, district crown prosecutor, said: "Azad Miah is a sexual predator.

"Through the detailed investigation by police, the thorough preparation of the case by prosecutors and most importantly the courage of the victims in coming forward he is now facing justice.”

She added Miah had deliberately selected teenagers who were particularly vulnerable, either because they were addicted to drugs or because they came from troubled backgrounds.

"He preyed on these particular girls because he thought they were easier to exploit because of their vulnerability.

"Even though he knew they were under 16 he repeatedly approached them, followed them and bombarded them with text messages, sometimes for weeks at a time, pestering them for sex in exchange for money, drugs or alcohol," she said.

Miah, a 44-year-old self confessed sex addict, had denied 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 charge of keeping a brothel between 2005 and 2011.

During a 14-day trial in front of Judge Peter Hughes QC, the jury – of six men and six women – heard harrowing evidence from vulnerable young girls about how Miah hounded them for sex.

Miah plied the young girls – some who were addicted to drugs – with food and cash in return for regular sex. This took place in the room above the takeaway or in his car.

When prosecutor Tim Evans opened the case, he said it was “a cold, clinical, calculated exploitation of the desperate and the vulnerable”.

Miah told the jury that one of his seven alleged sex victims had lied in court because she may be “trying to get compensation”.

The married father-of-four said he thought she may have also “put up” one of her friends to make a similar complaint against him and that several of the girls involved in the case against him knew each other.

He said he was a “family man” and that all of the complaints against him were “nonsense”.

The Spice of India is now called the Raj Mahal and is run with new management.

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