Imran Ahmed Khan loses appeal of his sexual assault conviction

Imran Ahmed Khan’s lawyers said his conviction was “unsafe” because the case against him was “weak”.



<p> Pictured: Ex-MP Imran Ahmed Khan arrives at Southwark Crown Court, south London, where he has been jailed for 18 months for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. </p>
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Pictured: Ex-MP Imran Ahmed Khan arrives at Southwark Crown Court, south London, where he has been jailed for 18 months on a single charge of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The victim came forward days after Khan won his seat in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election. Khan, who maintains he is innocent, was expelled from the Conservative Party and resigned, triggering a by-election in the constituency, after he was found guilty.

His lawyers argued that his conviction was “unsafe” because the case against him was “weak” and bolstered by “bad personal evidence” in the form of a man who alleged he was sexually assaulted as an adult by Khan in Pakistan in 2010.

They also argued that his prison term was too long for the crime and should have been suspended. But three senior judges rejected both appeals in a ruling issued on Monday.

What did the appeal judges say?

The conviction appeal was dismissed by Mr Justice Sweeney, who was seated with Mrs Victoria Sharp and Mr Linden, saying: “It was evident that the (trial) judge was entitled to conclude that the prosecution’s case in respect of (the victim’s) complaint was not weak. Indeed, in Our opinion, the issue was far from weak.

He added, “against this general background, we have no doubt that the appellant’s trial was fair and his conviction was secure.” Judge Sweeney said the judge gave due consideration to suspending sentence, particularly in light of Khan’s mother’s vulnerable care needs and the fact that he was her sole caregiver prior to his imprisonment, but concluded that custody was necessary in all circumstances.

He added, “From our point of view, regarding the facts of this case, he was entitled to reach that conclusion.” Khan’s appeal hearing last month was attended by Conservative MP for Reigate, Crispin Blunt, who previously claimed Khan’s conviction was a “serious miscarriage of justice”.

What was said during the trial?

After sentencing in May, Judge Jeremy Baker said: “The only regret you have is with yourself for finding yourself in the predicament you are in as a result of your actions some 14 years ago.

“However it may have been over the years that you have allowed yourself to believe that you have gotten away with this crime, I am sure you knew from the outset that there was a danger that there would be a day of reckoning.”

The Crown Court heard earlier that he dragged the teenager upstairs, and also forced him to drink gin and tonic, as well as telling him to watch pornography before the attack on a house.

The court heard the victim was “inconsolable” when he ran to his parents after the attack. A police report was filed at the time, but no further action was taken as the boy did not want to file a formal complaint. However, he told the jurors “it all went backwards” when he learned that Khan was standing in the general election.

He said he was not “taken seriously” when he made the allegations to the Conservative Party press office days before Khan won the Wakefield seat, and went to the police after Khan helped the Conservatives win a large majority in the House of Commons.

Khan was found guilty of one count of sexual assault after nearly five hours of deliberation by a jury. Gudrun Young KC, who represents Khan, said that since his election to Parliament his life has been in “free fall”, adding: “To say his reputation is in tatters does not do it justice. It has been completely destroyed. Mr Khan’s fall from grace has been stunning. He will be known.” Always the disgraced former deputy and he will take that to his grave.”