Former MP Imran Ahmad Khan released from jail after half of sentence
Former Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan has been released from a Brixton prison after being jailed for groping a teenage boy.
Khan was due to be released on probation on Tuesday after serving half of his 18-month sentence, the Times reported.
The former MP for Wakefield was sentenced in May last year after he was found guilty of groping a 15-year-old boy following a party in 2008.
Photos published by the Wakefield Express appeared to show Khan leaving HMP Brixton, in south London, around 10.15am.
He was met by friends who helped him carry his belongings to a car before he was driven away.
Pictures appeared to show Khan with long hair and a beard after serving nine months of his sentence behind bars.
The Ministry of Justice later confirmed he had been released.
Two days after winning his seat in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election, Khan contacted one of the victim’s relatives expressing concerns about the 2008 incident, and the victim later went to police.
Khan was expelled from the Conservative Party and resigned, triggering a by-election in the constituency, following his conviction.
Southwark Crown Court heard how Khan forced the then teenager to drink gin and tonic and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire.
The victim, who cannot be identified, said he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan, then 34, touched his feet and legs, coming within “a hair’s breadth” of his privates, as he went to sleep in a top bunk bed.
The court heard the victim was “inconsolable” when he ran to his parents after the attack.
A police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken because the boy did not want to make a formal complaint.
However, he told jurors “it all came flooding back” when he learned Khan was standing in the general election.
He said he was not “taken very seriously” when he made the allegation to the Tory press office days before Khan won the Wakefield seat, and went to police after Khan helped the Conservatives win a large Commons majority.
Khan, who is gay and a Muslim, claimed he only touched the Catholic teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality.
The politician said he was trying to be “kind” and “helpful”, but the boy became upset and “bolted” when the topic of pornography was raised.
Khan was found guilty of a single count of sexual assault after about five hours of deliberations by a jury.
The former MP brought an appeal against his conviction and sentence, which was heard at the Court of Appeal in November.
His lawyers argued that his conviction was “unsafe” because the case against him was “weak” and was bolstered by “bad character evidence” in the form of a man who alleged he had been sexually assaulted as an adult by Khan in Pakistan in 2010.
They also argued his jail term was too long for the offence and should have been suspended.
Both appeals were dismissed by three senior judges.