A former Conservative MP has been sentenced to 18-months in prison for sexually assaulting a teenager.
Imran Ahmad Khan, 48, who served as MP for Wakefield from 2019 until this year, was found guilty in April of groping the 15-year-old at a house party in 2008.
Khan was expelled by the Conservative party following his conviction and later stood down as an MP.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Mr Justice Baker at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 23rd May.
Judge Mr Justice Baker said he did not accept Khan had “any remorse” for what he had done, and added that the victim had been “profoundly psychologically affected” by Khan’s actions.
He said: “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.”
Last month, the court heard that Khan forced the boy to drink gin and tonic at a party before dragging him upstairs and asked him to watch pornography before assaulting him.
The victim, now 29, told a jury he felt “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs. He said Khan came within “a hair’s breadth” of his privates as he tried to sleep in a top bunk bed.
He ran to his parents and a police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken because the youngster did not want to make a formal complaint.
Khan, who is gay and Muslim, had denied sexual assault and claimed he only touched the teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality.
At court, Mr Justice Baker said: ”I am satisfied the complainant was particularly vulnerable. Not only was he 15 years of age at the date of the offence, but I accept his mother’s description that he was not very worldly and very young for his age.”
The judge told Khan: “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.”
However, Mr Justice Baker went on to say that he did not consider Khan’s offence to be “sufficiently severe enough to place the assault into the most severe category”.
The victim said he was not “taken very seriously” when he made the allegation to the Conservative Party press office days before Khan was elected as MP for Wakefield.
He made a complaint to the police days after Khan helped Prime Minister Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority by taking Wakefield.
Imran Ahmad Khan arrived in court and sat impassively in the dock looking straight ahead throughout the hearing.
The judge noted that Khan had remained remorseless throughout the trial and said the only sorrow he’d shown had been for himself and his reputation.
As he was told of his custodial sentence, Khan remained emotionless, calmly getting to his feet as he was escorted from the court
Victim’s impact statement
Reading an impact statement in court, Khan’s victim said he had had “suicidal thoughts” and had suffered difficulties in his relationship and at work due to the assault.
“Because of this assault, throughout my teenage years I found being touched in any way difficult,” he said.
“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.
“I have struggled with the guilt of dragging my family back into a horrible ordeal they would rather forget, and watch them struggle with their own guilt for allowing that man into the house.”
In a statement issued after the sentencing, the NSPCC said: “We hope seeing Khan face justice for the sexual assault he committed over a decade ago offers some solace to the brave young man who spoke out against his abuser.
“Abuse can have a profound and long-lasting effect on children and young people, but no matter who the perpetrator is, it is important to remember it is never too late to speak out and get support.”
A by-election is due to be held on 23 June to elect a new MP for Khan’s former constituency.