Wednesday 20 November 2019

Predatory restaurant boss jailed for child sex crimes

Restaurant boss Mohammed Khubaib, 43, who is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he became the last of a string of men to be convicted of child sex offences on girls in Peterborough. Photo: Cambridgeshire Police/PA Wire
Restaurant boss Mohammed Khubaib, 43, who is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he became the last of a string of men to be convicted of child sex offences on girls in Peterborough. Photo: Cambridgeshire Police/PA Wire

By Emily Pennink

A "predatory" restaurant boss has been jailed for 13 years after becoming the last of a string of men to be convicted of child sex crimes.

Married businessman Mohammed Khubaib, 43, originally from Pakistan, had a "persistent and almost predatory interest" in teenage girls, the Old Bailey heard.

He groomed vulnerable under-age girls by giving them money, gifts or cigarettes before plying them with alcohol.

Following a trial, he was found guilty of forcing a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him and nine counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, involving girls aged from 12 to 15, between November 2010 and January 2013.

Today, Judge Peter Rook QC sentenced him to 13 years in jail for the rape extended for five years on licence.

For each of the trafficking offences, he sentenced him to either four or two years, all to run concurrently.

He also imposed a sexual harm prevention order and disqualified him from working with children for life, saying he clearly posed a danger to girls and young women.

He told him: "Your actions have had a profound effect on these young girls. Some have lost trust in people and ended self confidence, self esteem as a result of your conduct."

"You targeted these young girls because they were vulnerable and you were seeking opportunities for your own sexual gratification.

"You knew these girls wanted alcohol and transport. You knew they were young and immature and at their age they didn't know any better.

"No doubt you felt you were untouchable as you took the view there was no risk these girls would ever give evidence about these activities."

He said in fact they had shown "great courage" in giving evidence, knowing that he was likely to "blame them".

Many of Khubaib's victims were in court to see him sentenced at the Old Bailey.

The judge added: "You showed no remorse, no acknowledgement whatsoever as to the effect of your predatory conduct.

"Society is now far more aware than it was in the past of the serious psychological harm that such behaviour as yours can cause."

Earlier, the court heard how the father of five still did not accept his guilt.

But as a result of the case, Khubaib's licences to run a restaurant and letting agency had been revoked by the council and both businesses subsequently failed.

Khubaib is the 10th man to be convicted following operation Erle - a multi-agency investigation into child sex crimes in Peterborough set in train in the wake of the Rotherham and Rochdale child abuse cases.

The court had heard that Khubaib's activities in Peterborough involved girls being befriended and then "hooked" with alcohol - normally vodka - in an attempt to make them "compliant" to sexual advances.

Khubaib, who lived in the city with his wife and children, would pursue his interest "away from his home and family", using his restaurant as a "focal point".

Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, said the girls were vulnerable because of their age, background, circumstances or unsettled schooling and Khubaib pretended to be their "friend and helper".

Khubaib, who also ran a lettings agency, would drive girls to flats in his 4x4 and, once there, they would be groomed for sex by being "plied with alcohol and entertained by himself and his friends".

He raped a 14-year-old girl in August 2007 by forcing her to perform oral sex on him after she was given alcohol and then "rewarded" with £5, the court heard.

The jury also heard details of the trafficking allegations.

The defendant would buy one girl and her friends McDonald's meals and tobacco, as well as giving her small sums of money and a £40 bunch of flowers for her 15th birthday, the court heard.

He told the girl he wanted her to be his wife, saying that he would "choose her over everyone else", while he told another 15-year-old she had beautiful eyes, the jury was told.

When she rebuffed him, saying he was too old for her, he was said to have replied: "Age doesn't matter."

Khubaib offered another girl £60, telling her: "You make me happy, I'll give you money."

Two weeks later he increased the offer to £90, the court heard. The girl refused.

In January 2013, Khubaib picked up two friends - one aged 12 and the other aged 14 - in his seven-seater car and took them to a McDonald's, Mr Dennis said.

The girls became uncomfortable when Khubaib got into a row on his phone and slipped away.

Later that month, he was arrested at a terraced house in Peterborough, where police found two girls aged 14.

Khubaib said in police interviews that his association with all of the girls was innocent and he had not acted in any improper way, denying any sexual contact with his rape victim.

Four previous cases led to nine male defendants being jailed for 59 offences against 15 girls, who were mostly from Peterborough, with a couple from Lincolnshire and Rutland.

PA Media

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