Paedophile who fled during trial jailed for 13 years after abusing young girl

(West Yorkshire Police)
Imran Ijaz has been jailed for 13 years and two months. (West Yorkshire Police)

A man who sexually abused a young girl has been jailed for more than 13 years.

Imran Ijaz, 39, from Lascelles View in Harehills, Leeds, fled to Scotland during his trial.

He was convicted in his absence after failing to attend the fourth day of his trial at Leeds Crown Court in August, West Yorkshire Police said.

He was arrested in Edinburgh later that month and returned to Leeds to be remanded in custody before his sentencing last week.

Ijaz was convicted of assault of a child by penetration, causing a child to watch a sexual act and six counts of sexual assault.

He was sentenced to 13 years and two months in prison.

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A general view of Leeds Crown Court.
Imran Ijaz absconded during his trial at Leeds Crown Court. (PA)

“Ijaz sexually abused this vulnerable young girl repeatedly in circumstances that were a huge betrayal of trust," said Detective Inspector Emma Wight, from Leeds District Safeguarding Unit.

“His actions have had a significant traumatic impact on the victim and on her family, and we hope that his conviction for these offences and the significant sentence he has received will help to reassure them as they continue to move forward with their lives.

“This successful outcome results from some excellent work by DC Nicki Vincent who painstakingly built up a comprehensive picture of the evidence that saw Ijaz convicted at court."

DI Wright added: “He tried to evade justice part way through his trial by fleeing to Scotland but was tracked down and brought back to face the consequences.

“We will always treat reports of offences such as these very seriously and do everything we can to support victims and make sure those responsible are held to account.

“We hope the hard work and dedication of specialist safeguarding officers to bring offenders such as Ijaz to justice will give victims of other similar offences the confidence to come forward.”