A MAN who plied a 14 year-old girl from Bradford with drink and drugs before having sex with her in a budget hotel has been jailed for more than five years.
Shahid Ali, 31, met the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on Facebook, telling her he was aged 25.
He pleaded guilty ahead of a trial at Bradford Crown Court yesterday to two charges of sexual activity with a child under 16, and a charge of perverting the course of justice.
Ali was found not guilty of rape, after prosecutor Sophie Drake confirmed that no evidence was to be offered on that charge.
She told the court that the girl, who had told Ali she was 15, had various conversations on social media, with her telling him she was having problems at school.
The pair met in Bradford on a number of occasions with Ali travelling from his home in Cromwell Avenue, Whalley Grange, Manchester.
Miss Drake said Ali and the girl would drink alcohol, smoke cannabis, and “kiss and cuddle.”
The court heard that on March 27, the girl left her home in Bradford, telling her mother she was going to see a friend. When she had not returned by 10.30pm that evening, she was reported missing to police.
Miss Drake said Ali had come to Bradford and gone with the girl back to Manchester, checking into the Ibis Budget Hotel in Salford.
The pair drank vodka and smoked cannabis, with the girl admitting she had got “drunk and high.”
Miss Drake said that Ali had sex with the girl without a condom, leading to the pair visiting a health clinic in Manchester the following day to get a morning-after pill.
When the girl was spoken to by a doctor, concerns were raised to social services in Bradford. Ali was arrested later that day after the pair were traced back to the hotel.
The perverting the course of justice charge related to attempts by Ali to contact the girl after he had been taken into custody.
In a victim impact statement, the girl said that she now “found it hard to trust people”, and that Ali’s actions would affect any future relationships as “I am always going to think if they are like Shaz.”
Jonathan Turner, for Ali, said the girl had lied to his client about her age, and had joined him in showing a “mutual desire to meet.”
He said she had chosen to stay despite being left alone in the hotel for a time, and at the medical centre, had told staff the sexual contact had been “entirely consensual.”
He added that the girl had initially been reluctant to make a complaint to police, stating her main concern had come when she found out that Ali had lied to her about his age.
Jailing Ali for five years and three months, Recorder Jamie Hill QC said his actions would have a “massive negative impact” on the girl’s life.
He said: “You met this girl, who was clearly having difficulties in her life, and you took advantage of that, when what she needed was protection. However reluctant she may have been to make a complaint against you, none of that excuses your behaviour.”
Recorder Hill also issued a sexual harm prevention order against Ali, and ordered him to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.