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Jail for former MP who groped 15-year-old boy in 2008

Former MP Imran Ahmad Khan arrives at Southwark Crown Court, south London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Former MP Imran Ahmad Khan arrives at Southwark Crown Court, south London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Former Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan has been jailed for 18 months as a judge said he faced “a day of reckoning” for groping a 15-year-old boy in 2008.

The victim, now 29, came forward days after Khan, 48, won his seat in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election.

Khan, who still maintains his innocence, was expelled from the Conservative Party and resigned, triggering a by-election in the constituency, after he was found guilty of sexual assault by a jury last month following a trial.

Jailing him for 18 months at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, Mr Justice Baker said he had shown “no remorse”.

“The only regret you feel is towards yourself for having found yourself in the predicament you face as a result of your actions some 14 years ago,” he said.

“Although it may well be over the years you had let yourself believe you had got away with having committed this offence, I am sure you were aware from the outset there was a risk there would be a day of reckoning.”

Khan showed no emotion as he was taken down to the cells, carrying among his possessions, a bag from an upmarket men’s grooming shop.

Mr Justice Baker said he had displayed a “significant degree of brutality” in the lead up to the assault as he dragged his victim upstairs and threw him onto a bed.

The court also heard how he forced the then teenager to drink gin and tonic and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire following a party in January 2008.

The victim, who cannot be identified said he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan, then 34, touched his feet and legs, coming within “a hair’s breadth” of his privates, as he went to sleep in a top bunkbed.

The court heard the victim was “inconsolable” when he ran to his parents following the attack.

A police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken because the boy did not want to make a formal complaint.

However, he told jurors “it all came flooding back” when he learned Khan was standing in the December 2019 general election.

He said he was not “taken very seriously” when he made the allegation to the Tory press office days before Khan won the Wakefield seat and went to police after Khan helped Prime Minister Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority.

Reading an impact statement in court, the victim said he has had “suicidal thoughts” and suffered difficulties in his relationship and work.

“My mental health has deteriorated rapidly since deciding to come forward and having to constantly relive an event I tried to bury for such a long time,” he said.

“I’ve wrestled with the guilt of dragging my family back into a horrible ordeal that they’d rather forget and watched them struggle to cope with their own guilt for allowing that man into the house.

“I’ve had my own assault pantomimed back to me on the stand, been called a liar and had every personal detail minutely dissected as though I was the one on trial.”

Khan, who is gay and a Muslim, claimed he only touched the Catholic teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality.

He said he was trying to be “kind” and “helpful”, but the boy became upset and “bolted” when the topic of pornography was raised.

However, Khan was found guilty of a single count of sexual assault by a jury after around five hours of deliberations.

Imran Ahmad Khan court case
Former MP Imran Ahmad Khan arrives at court for sentencing (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Khan has said he will appeal against his conviction and Gudrun Young QC, defending, said on Monday: “Mr Khan denies this offence and maintains today he is not guilty of it.”

His barrister said Khan, who has a degenerative bone disease and is registered disabled, has been “completely teetotal and celibate for a number of years, and has “become somewhat of a recluse,” living with and caring for his elderly mother.

In mitigation, Ms Young said since his election to Parliament his life has been in “freefall”, adding: “At every stage of this process, the investigation, charge, trial, everything he has worked for and achieved in his life has been gradually stripped away from him ending in this conviction.”

She said he had gone from “high public office”, with a successful career behind him, to being “utterly and completely disgraced with his life and career in ruins, shamed and humiliated at every turn.”

“To say his reputation is in tatters does not do the matter justice. It has been completely destroyed,” she said.

“Mr Khan’s fall from grace has been spectacular.”

She added: “He will always be known as a disgraced former MP and he will take that to his grave.”

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