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Illegal worker raped girl, 12

PUBLISHED: 08:45 02 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 October 2010

An MP demanded answers last night as it emerged that a Bangladeshi whose work permit had expired committed a series of “sordid” sex crimes including the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

An MP demanded answers last night as it emerged that a Bangladeshi whose work permit had expired committed a series of “sordid” sex crimes including the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said he would table questions in the House of Commons after the Immigration Service appeared to have lost track of Mohammed Murad.

Murad, 29, was living illegally in King's Lynn when he committed the offences in May last year.

Norwich Crown Court heard that the restaurant worker lured young and vulnerable teenage girls to his King's Lynn home with promises of alcohol, food and cannabis. There he forced the girls, one 12 and the other 14, to perform sex acts on him and took lurid photographs.

Murad was jailed for seven years and was told he would be deported immediately after serving half his sentence for committing what his own QC described as “torrid and sordid” sex crimes.

But it later emerged that even Norfolk police had been kept in the dark about Murad's immigration status, with detectives only finding out he had been served with deportation papers when it was mentioned in court.

After the hearing, Det Con Shane Holmes, the officer leading the investigation, said he had not previously been informed of Murad's status.

He told the EDP: “The Immigration Service have refused to give me anything. I was a bit surprised by that and I don't know why.

“My belief is that he is an over-stayer; he had a permit and was not an illegal immigrant, but he had stayed here longer than he should have.”

After hearing about the case from the EDP, MP Henry Bellingham said he would be writing to home secretary John Reid and tabling questions in the House of Commons.

He said: “This information should be in the public domain. Confidence in the Immigration Service is in meltdown and the only way to restore it is to be completely open about its failings.

“We are not talking about stealing a handbag here, this man is guilty of some of the worst crimes known to man. The Home Office shouldn't go into denial, the whole situation is out of control and they need to be up front about it.”

At an earlier trial, Murad was found guilty of one count of rape, two of attempted rape, one of sexual touching and 11 of making indecent photographs. He had denied the charges.

His own representative in court, Miles Bennett, described Murad's behaviour as “disgraceful conduct” and Judge Alasdair Darroch said he had “destroyed lives”.

Mitigating, Mr Bennett said that Murad had recently separated from his wife and was suffering from bouts of depression.

He said: “There isn't a lot one can say about a man convicted of what he has been convicted of.

“The reality is he was an innocent abroad rather than naive. At a low ebb in his life he allowed himself to be seduced by the fact that young girls liked him.

“But it is rather torrid and sordid that the defendant allowed himself to be in that position - it was disgraceful conduct.”

Mr Bennett added: “Here is a man who will be deported. It is that simple - especially in this current climate, whoever is Home Secretary will not fail to bring about deportation.”

Judge Darroch sentenced Murad to seven years prison for rape, five years for each count of attempted rape, four years for the sexual touching and one year for each count of making indecent photographs. The sentences will run concurrently.

He said that he was recommending that Murad be deported after serving half his sentence.

“These are very serious offences against vulnerable girls,” said Judge Darroch. “I've no doubt you were flattered by the attention but it was your business to control yourself and not destroy their lives as you have done.”

Last night, a Home Office spokeswoman refused to give details on when deportation papers had been served on Murad, or for how long he had been living in the country illegally.

Penny Hodge said: “We cannot give any details of an individual's case, all we can say is that he is being recommended for deportation after serving his sentence.”

SHOULDER

Murad was able to target the girls through his work at the popular Bombay Brasserie, on Railway Road in Lynn.

The two girls had run away from home on May 11 last year when Murad tempted them to his home on Walpole Road with offers of food.

“We think he invited them round with the promise of cigarettes, maybe alcohol and food, and also gave them cannabis,” said Det Con Holmes.

“This, we believe, was to basically sedate them. He played cards and encouraged them to remove clothing.”

They then both left his house but returned to it the next day, having left something behind.

“He gave them cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis and they fell asleep, and that's when he attempted to rape them both and committed sexual assaults on them.”

One of the girl's brothers tracked the pair to Murad's home the next day and the 29-year-old was arrested soon after.

Following sentencing yesterday Det Con Holmes said: “Murad preyed on these vulnerable young girls to subject them to degrading sexual activity.

“The sentence handed down today reflects the severity and nature of the offences committed.

“The victims and their families are satisfied that justice has been done and with this can now put this unpleasant time behind them and move on with their lives.”


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