November 2019

Aspiring policeman had sex with 14-year-old girl he met on Instagram

A student with ambitions to become a police officer has been convicted of having sex with a schoolgirl.

Preston Crown Court heard how Zakir Sidat knew his victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was underage and even offered to pick her up from school.

The court heard that the girl, aged 14, had turned up at 21-year-old Sidat’s Blackburn home the day before they had sex but he told her to go because his friend was there.

And after luring her back to the house the following day with a series of sexual Instagram messages, Sidat had sex with the girl, before telling her to delete all previous communication with him.

Prosecuting, Francis McEntee said the girl’s parents had become worried on the evening October 12, last year, when she had gone missing along with a friend.

When they eventually turned up at a family friend’s house the girl’s parents didn’t believe their explanation that they had stayed out in Blackburn’s Corporation Park, mainly because their clothes were dry despite that evening’s rain.

Mr McEntee said Sidat was then keen to ensure the girl had deleted the messages from Instagram.

He initially told police that he had not let the girl into his house because he knew she was underage. But when he was told his DNA had been found on the girl’s knickers he admitted having sex with her but said he thought she was 16.

When police examined Instagram messages on the girl’s phone, they included an exchange where Sidat only agreed to pick the girl up from the school she stated she went to if she wore her uniform for him.

Sidat, of Royshaw Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Judge Robert Altham said: “What is entirely troubling is that you knew perfectly well she was a schoolgirl. That was part of the attraction.”

Judge Altham sentenced Sidat to 18 months in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 240 hours’ unpaid work.

Sidat was placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and made subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.