A pervert who preyed on a young teenage girl, grooming her for sex and plying her with gifts over an 18-month period 20 years ago, has been given the maximum sentence for the crime of a year in jail.
Rana Irfan Aslam, 51, was told by Sheriff John Rafferty that only a custodial sentence was appropriate and only the maximum possible was available to him.
The sheriff court heard Aslam gave the girl gifts of money, perfume and alcohol before engaging in unlawful sexual activity with her at various locations in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife.
The victim, who was 12 at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, branded shopkeeper Rana Aslam a “dirty, paedophile scumbag”.
Aslam had denied the charge and the matter went to trial before Sheriff Rafferty.
Following a day of evidence, he was found guilty – under deletion of having full sexual intercourse — of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the girl, giving her gifts which included a mobile telephone, inducing her to enter a vehicle with him and driving her to various locations where he engaged in unlawful sexual activity with her.
The court heard that Aslam preyed on the girl on various occasions between August 1998 and August 2000 at locations including Dundee’s Wellington Square, Ogilvie Street and at Gourdie Croft in Kingsway, at a Spar shop in Dundee and at unknown locations near Arbroath, Tayport, Kingoodie and elsewhere.
Solicitor Advocate Jim Laverty told the court the reports before the court indicated that a custodial sentence was inevitable and his client took no issue with that view following his conviction, albeit he still maintained his innocence.
He pointed out that a prison sentence would impact on his family and also asked the sheriff to take into account the delay in getting the case to court since it was first reported to police in November 2013.
Sheriff Rafferty told Aslam: “This is a case where you have satisfied your own lustful desires without having any regard whatsoever to the impact that would have on your young female victim.
“Only a custodial sentence is appropriate or there would be wholly justified outrage if persons were allowed to behave in this manner and not be punished by means of a custodial sentence.
“There are factors to take into account which have been amply highlighted by your solicitor Mr Laverty and also the impact the sentence will have on your own children and your own spouse.
“You must bear responsibility for that. I also take into account the delay.
“However I take the view that the only matter which would have significantly mitigated the sentence would be a plea of guilty or an admission of your guilt.”
He also placed Aslam on the sex offenders register for 10 years.