Peterborough man who had sex with an underage girl jailed for 12 years

A man who had sex with an underage girl has been jailed for 12 years.

A man who had sex with an underage girl has been jailed for 12 years. - Credit: Archant

A man who had sex with an underage girl has been jailed for 12 years.

Mohammed Abbas, 30, groomed the girl when she was 12 years old and took her to a park where he tried to have sex with her.

He would drive her around in his black BMW and take her to houses for sex. She would often not return home for several days.

The offences came to light as part of Operation Erle, a proactive inquiry by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Peterborough City Council into child sexual exploitation.

The victim was identified during another investigation.

Abbas, previously of Gladstone Street, Peterborough, initially went on trial in June, however a jury at Peterborough Crown Court failed to reach a verdict.

A retrial started on Monday and he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a girl under 13 by penetration and two specimen charges of sexual activity with a child.

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He was sentenced to 12 years for the sexual assault charges and eight years for the sexual activity, to run concurrently, on Wednesday.

He will be deported after serving his sentence.

He is the ninth person to be convicted under Operation Erle and brings the total sentences passed by judges in the inquiry to 101 years and nine months. Further trials are anticipated.

Detective Superintendent Gary Ridgway said: “Abbas targeted and groomed a girl he knew to be underage for his own sexual gratification.

“His actions have hugely disrupted this young girl’s life and will have a lasting effect on her.

“She has shown great bravery in giving evidence against him at both trials in order that he be brought to justice and hopefully the verdicts will help her start to move on with her life.

“This is another example of how determined we are to tackle the exploitation of young people and will continue to work with partner agencies to identify those at risk and keep them safe from harm.”

Executive director of Children’s Services for Peterborough City Council, Sue Westcott said: “This verdict represents further proof that we, alongside the police, are working relentlessly to bring to justice men who prey on young people.

“Once again this represents justice for a victim who had the courage to stand up in court and relive some very difficult experiences. Without this we could not have achieved this result.

“We are determined to stop these crimes happening in our city and we will continue to do everything in our power, along with the police, to stop girls becoming victims in the first place.

“We cannot do it alone; we need everyone in Peterborough to be aware of the signs and raise the alarm if they suspect that a young person might be at risk.”