Carlisle takeaway brothel owner pursued girls for sex
A Carlisle takeaway owner named Azad Miah (44) was convicted of attempting to recruit four girls aged between 12 and 16 into prostitution by Carlisle Crown Court. He was also found guilty of running a brothel from his business and paying for the sexual services of teenagers.
He is the former owner of Spice of India restaurant. He was found guilty of abusing four girls, but cleared of the same allegation against two more girls. He was warned he could face a substantial prison term and will be sentenced tomorrow.
Miah is a married father of four. He stalked these teens to persuade them have sex with him for money. He was described as carrying out a "cold, clinical exploitation of the desperate and vulnerable".
He deliberately targeted girls with drug and alcohol problems or with troubled backgrounds. He is described as showing contempt for the girls and being dismissive of them by Detective Constable Christy Robertson of the Cumbria police, who described it as ‘ the worst case she had ever dealt with’.
He targeted these girls because he felt because of their circumstances and troubled lives that it was likely they wouldn’t be believed and they would give in to his persistent offers.
He felt that being a ‘responsible, respected restaurateur of the city’, he would more likely be believed rather than these vulnerable girls. One such girl did make complaints to the police in 2008, but gave up when the police refused to take action then.
One girl who was paid for sexual services to Miah from the age of 15, used the money to pay for her heroin addiction. He hired girls as young as 15 to work at the takeaway and then offered them better money when they showed up for work, to provide sexual services.
But according to Miah, he was giving these girls money out of his generosity. He has been described by police as arrogant and a predator. He even came at the female police officers while being questioned and treated them with contempt.
Linda Vance, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "He preyed on these particular girls because he thought they were easier to exploit because of their vulnerability. He bombarded the girls with text messages for weeks at a time; he followed them and repeatedly approached them.
Detective Christy has stated, "my perception was that he was disrespectful in other ways, which just paralleled the contempt he showed with the girls." She felt coming to court was an incredible ordeal for the girls.
Some of the problems facing these vulnerable children who are being groomed and sold for sex by these predators, make this a difficult crime for them to report. Some of them have criminal backgrounds and are afraid to make reports. Some feel they will not be believed against a ‘successful’ businessman. These girls know that what they are doing is wrong, but they feel trapped and in some cases they are being threatened.
This brave group of girls have spoken up as a way to try and protect the next generation of girls. The restaurant and takeaway in Botchergate is now operating with new owners and a new name.