A Bradford man has been jailed for 15 months after inappropriately stroking an eight-year-old girl in a Leeds bakery earlier this year.
Adnan Maqsood, who is already serving time in prison for stalking a 69-year-old woman, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for the offence after being found guilty of assault.
CCTV images showed Maqsood approach the young girl alone at a table as she sat waiting for her mother to be served at the Gregg’s Bakery establishment, on the Headrow, on 12th February.
He then stroked the youngster’s hands, face and body before leaving the store.
Maqsood sparked a manhunt after being identified by the store’s CCTV and was eventually arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, of which he was found not guilty.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to an offence of common assault, accepting his actions, ‘in hindsight’, were wrong.
Describing the offence, the judge said: “It is an offence that will affect her. It will affect her treatment of strangers in the future and her trust in people.
“This victim was obviously particularly vulnerable because of her age and because her mother’s back was turned.
“I make no criticism at all of her mother. It was perfectly reasonable to send her children to that table while keeping an eye on them over her shoulder as she did.”
Maqsood’s 15-month jail time will run concurrent to a current 15-month sentence handed to him for the stalking of an elderly neighbour.
The court head how he had become obsessed and infatuated with the pensioner between March 2014 and July of this year, constantly turning up to the victim’s home in Bradford.
Detective Inspector Steve Greenbank, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said Maqsood’s latest conviction will hopefully deter other ‘would-be offenders’ in the future.
He added: “Maqsood wrongly thought he could get away with assaulting an eight-year-old girl in a very public place while her mother was momentarily distracted.
“When the incident was reported to police, we conducted a full and comprehensive investigation and identified Maqsood as the suspect with the assistance of public. We are very grateful to everyone who contacted us with information following our appeal.
“We hope the victim and her family will take some comfort from knowing that he has now had to face the consequences of his actions. We also hope his conviction will act as a deterrent to others and give victims of similar offences the confidence to come forward.”