Man spared jail for grooming girl
A supporter of radical Islamist cleric Anjem Choudary has been spared jail after he groomed a "vulnerable" 15-year-old schoolgirl on Facebook.
Mansoor Miah, 22, of Hilgrove Road, Kilburn, north-west London, invited the underage teenager to meet him for sex in a hotel.
In their first online conversations he told her about Islam, but just four days later he sent her photographs of his penis and asked her to watch while he committed a sex act on himself in front of a webcam.
Miah was given a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years at Southwark Crown Court.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "A suspended sentence is appropriate.
"A prison sentence to mark the seriousness of what you did, and a course of treatment to ensure it doesn't happen again and to protect young girls."
Miah has reportedly retweeted several religious messages from Mr Choudary.
The online activity between the defendant and his victim took place in November 2013, when he was aged 20 and she had just turned 15.
The girl was using a fake Facebook profile on a handheld Nintendo DS device. Her mother had previously stopped her from accessing the social networking site on their home computer when she found out she was engaging in conversations about sex online.
Prosecutor Stephen Requena told the sentencing hearing: "Mr Miah began their conversations by trying to tell her all about the Koran and Islam."
He continued to chat to her despite her lack of interest in his religion.
When the victim told him she was 15, he replied: "Oh, okay."
"Having talked about Islam, undeterred, Mr Miah began to chat the complainant up," Mr Requena said.
Miah sent her a photograph of his stomach, before moving onto more explicit images.
"He sends her a photograph of his erect penis and exchanges some extremely dirty talk with her," Mr Requena explained.
Miah repeatedly tried to persuade her to send him an indecent picture of herself, but she did not agree.
The prosecutor added: "He sends her four more photographs of his erect penis, inquires about her sexual experience, explains he would like her to give him oral sex."
Miah also asked if she would watch him perform a sex act on himself in front of a webcam.
The prosecutor went on: "He incites her to masturbate and tells her that he is doing the same to himself."
The defendant then asked the victim if she could meet him at a Premier Inn hotel in Kent, and sent her another photograph of his penis.
The grooming was stopped when it was discovered by the girl's mother, who alerted police.
Miah, wearing a white shirt, red tie, blue trousers and a dark coat, gave no reaction from the dock as his sentence was read out.
Judge Loraine-Smith told him: "You intended eventually to commit some sort of sexual activity, but thankfully it stopped there."
He went on: "You have not repeated this offence, so there is no evidence you are a predatory paedophile of the type I'm afraid we often see in this court, and the fact you didn't try again allows me to accept you were remorseful for your behaviour months before the police intervened."
The judge said he would not have imposed a suspended sentence if the defendant had actually met the victim in the hotel or if he had communicated with other girls in a similar manner.
He told the defendant: "I would not have contemplated doing so if you had gone further than an attempt, or tried to speak to another girl in the same way."
Miah was arrested in June last year and admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming in a hearing last month.
Mr Requena told the court that the girl "wanted to put it all behind her".
He went on: "The mother, it seems, was scared and felt her daughter was in danger when this was discovered.
"She describes her daughter as not that mature, which leaves her vulnerable."
Miah's lawyer, Edward Jones, told the court in mitigation: "During that period of his life he was very confused. His judgment was clouded by the use of cannabis and that is something he has now rid himself of."
He added: "This is very much a one-off that won't be repeated."
Miah was given a two-year supervision order, he must attend a sex offenders' treatment course and sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
He was also banned from using Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites or chat rooms.