Man jailed for grooming 14 year-old girl
22 Mar 2017 00:00 AM[View Full Size]
A man has today been sentenced for 32 months for grooming and sexual offences of a 14 year-old victim.
Shah Ahmed, 25, of Marshall Wallis Road, South Shields pleaded guilty to meeting a female under 16 following sexual grooming and inciting her to engage in a sexual act.
The offence took place at around 4pm on Sunday, February 15, 2015 when the victim was only 14 years-old. She had never met Ahmed and he first made contact with her on Facebook shortly after midnight the day before.
He told her his name was 'Imran' and told her he was 18 years-old. Within a very short time of conversation, he suggests to the victim that they should meet up.
The victim asked Ahmed if he had concerns about her age asking "R u sure u don't mind that I'm 14?". The 25 year-old who had falsely told the victim he was 18 replied saying "Na, think it's (about) the personality."
The victim met with Ahmed in a car where he supplied her with paracetamol before asking her to engage in a sex act.
The family of the victim have today supported police in releasing the messages between the victim and Ahmed to raise awareness about staying safe online and how sexual offenders will target vulnerable people online.
Detective Constable Ian Moore is pleased with the outcome today and hopes it will help others protect themselves from predatory sex offenders.
"This man has without any remorse targeted a vulnerable girl and abused her for his own gain. The victim has been hugely affected by this man's actions and he is absolutely where he belongs behind bars.
"Sadly, there are people on social media who will seek out the vulnerable and take advantage. These criminals hide behind fake profiles and they will pretend to care and show you affection but it will soon become clear that they are after more than 'friendship'.
"It is so vitally important to protect yourself online and don't always believe what you see. Be wary of publishing any identifying information about yourself – either in your profile or in your posts – such as phone numbers, pictures of your home, or school, your address or birthday. Keep your profile closed and allow only your real friends to view your profile. Use the privacy features to restrict strangers’ access to your profile. Be guarded about who you let join your network.
"We as police officers fully understand the difficulty for parents and trying to keep up with the latest apps and sites. It would be unrealistic to ask parents and carers to understand all of them. The sites and services your child likes to use may change regularly but the messages to keep themselves safe remain the same – be kind online, think before you post and only accept friend requests form people you know and trust.
"It’s very important that we make sure young people stay safe online and are aware of the risks and what they can do to avoid them."
If anyone has any concerns about a friend or someone they know that may be a victim of grooming, please contact police on 101, or 999, in an emergency. Or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.