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Watch: Ex-Tory MP jailed for 18 months for sexual assault on teen
The former Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan has been jailed for 18 months for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy.
Khan, 48, was found guilty of attacking the boy in a house in Staffordshire in January 2008. At a trial last month, jurors were told he forced the teenager to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs, pushed him on to a bed and asked him to watch pornography before assaulting him.
Jailing him, Mr Justice Baker said he had shown no remorse, adding: “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.”
Southwark Crown Court was told the victim made a complaint to police days after Khan helped prime minister Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority by taking Wakefield in the so-called “red wall” that had formed Labour’s heartlands in the Midlands and northern England.
Khan was expelled from the Conservative Party and resigned, triggering a by-election in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, after he was found guilty last month following a trial.
The victim, now 29, told a jury he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, coming within “a hair’s breadth” of his privates, as he went 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.
But he told jurors “it all came flooding back” when he learned Khan was standing in the December 2019 general election.
The Tory hopeful was literally parachuted into the constituency in a skydiving stunt after he was selected to replace Antony Calvert weeks before the election.
Days ahead of the poll, the victim said he contacted the Conservative Party press office, to tell them what Khan had done to him, but added: “I wasn’t taken very seriously.”
Khan, who was sent a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police rather than being interviewed under caution at a station because of “COVID protocols in place at the time”, denied sexual assault.
The MP, who is gay and a Muslim, claims he only touched the Catholic teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality.
Khan said he was trying to be “kind” and “helpful”, but the teenager became upset and “bolted” when the topic of pornography was raised.
However, the jury believed his victim, returning a guilty verdict after around five hours of deliberations.
The victim said he “vividly” remembered the gin bottle Khan took to the party, the smell of the spirit in the glass tumbler, and the fizz of the bubbles as he was forced by Khan to drink the cocktail.
He said Khan also watched him do pull-ups, asked him to watch pornography and told him he was “good looking” in a “love whisper” in his ear, which was “disgusting and really slimy”.
The victim said he pretended to be asleep in the top bunk bed before Khan reached through the wooden bars to touch his feet.
“He was drunk because I could hear his heavy breathing,” he said.
The complainant said the “slow caressing” continued as Khan “worked his way around the bed” and “up my leg”, despite him telling the MP to stop.
He said he “froze”, adding: “I freaked out and jumped out of the bed and ran as fast as I could.”
The boy’s brother, who was 18 at the time, told jurors he was also the victim of an “assault” when Khan asked if he was wearing his kilt like a “true Scotsman” – referring to the tradition of wearing the garment without underwear – before lifting it up with both hands.
Reading an impact statement in court, the victim said he has had “suicidal thoughts” and suffered difficulties in his relationship and work.
“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,” he said.
“I’ve wrestled with the guilt of dragging my family back into a horrible ordeal that they’d rather forget and watched them struggle to cope with their own guilt for allowing that man into the house.
“I’ve had my own assault pantomimed back to me on the stand, been called a liar and had every personal detail minutely dissected as though I was the one on trial.”
Khan has said he will appeal against his conviction and Gudrun Young QC, defending, said on Monday: “Mr Khan denies this offence and maintains today he is not guilty of it.”
His barrister said Khan, who has a degenerative bone disease and is registered disabled, has been “completely teetotal and celibate for a number of years, and has “become somewhat of a recluse,” living with and caring for his elderly mother.
In mitigation, Ms Young said since his election as an MP his life has been in “freefall”, adding: “At every stage of this process, the investigation, charge, trial, everything he has worked for and achieved in his life has been gradually stripped away from him ending in this conviction.”
She said he had gone from “high public office”, with a successful career behind him, to being “utterly and completely disgraced with his life and career in ruins, shamed and humiliated at every turn.”
“To say his reputation is in tatters does not do the matter justice. It has been completely destroyed,” she said.
“Mr Khan’s fall from grace has been spectacular.”
She added: “He will always be known as a disgraced former MP and he will take that to his grave.”