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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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I’m a family man but I can’t say no to women, Carlisle takeaway boss tells court

A takeaway boss accused of having sex with underage girls told police he is a “family man” who can’t refuse a woman “if she presents herself to him.”

Azad Miah photo
Azad Miah

Related: Girl, 15, asked if she wanted to 'make big money' by Carlisle takeaway boss

Azad Miah, who is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court, was asked in police interviews read to the court yesterday if he had a “high sex drive.”

He said: “Could be.”

But he repeatedly denied paying cash for sex with underage girls and said he gave them money because they were his “friends”.

Police say Miah, who ran the Spice of India, on Botchergate, got a reputation in Carlisle for giving vulnerable girls, who were addicted to drugs and drink, money to keep quiet if they had unprotected sex with him.

Miah, 44, has admitted having relationships with some of the girls but said they were all over 18 at the time.

The police asked Miah, who ran the Spice of India for 11 years, why he gave vulnerable girls money.

He said: “They are too close to me. They want to buy this and that.”

Police say Miah gave them food, sweets and a place to hang out in return for sex.

The police interviewer asked Miah: “Do you feel that they (the girls) are taking advantage of you because you are kind natured?”

Miah, who has lived in Carlisle for 21 years, replied: “Yes.”

Yet the police interviewer said not one of the girls had described Miah as “kind” or “generous”.

He told police he ended the relationship with one of the girls when he found out that she was a “druggie.”

He said that some of the girls were “rough” and caused problems for him in his takeaway by shouting, throwing things around and trying to ruin his business.

Miah, who is married with two sons and two daughters, said he did text some of the girls as friends but did not send them messages “of a sexual nature.”

He denied giving one of the girls a head massage in his shop and said if he saw another man, or one of his staff, being offensive to a woman then he would voice concerns and discourage it.

He said he didn’t think relationships with underage girls should happen and that to be in a relationship people should be “of a similar age”.

Miah, who also ran takeaways in Cockermouth and Whitehaven, says he is the victim in this trial and that the girls have all colluded together to frame him because he stopped giving them cash.

He faces nine charges of paying for the sexual services of a child, eight charges of inciting child prostitution and one of keeping a brothel. Miah has denied all of the charges.

He is expected to take to the witness stand tomorrow.

The trial continues.

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