Ex-Tory MP loses appeal against sexual assault conviction

Imran Ahmad Khan

Imran Ahmad Khan has lost a challenge against his conviction for sexual assault heard in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) last month.

The appeal, along with a second appeal against sentence, was rejected earlier today with the handing down of the judgment, electronically, from the Royal Courts of Justice.

Mr Justice Sweeney said he had “no doubt” that Khan’s trial was fair and his conviction was safe. The other judges were Dame Victoria Sharp, President of the King’s Bench Division, and Mr Justice Linden.

Khan’s legal team, headed as it was at trial by Gudrun Young KC, had argued that his conviction was unsafe because the case against him was weak, there were inconsistencies in the evidence of the key witness and it relied upon bad character evidence in the form of allegations made by a man who said he had been sexually assaulted as an adult by Khan in Pakistan in 2010.

They further argued that his prison sentence was too severe for the offence and that the jail term should have been suspended.

In May, 2022, Khan, 48, was jailed for eighteen months after being found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy at a party in Staffordshire in 2008.

Following that conviction, he was expelled from the Conservative Party and stood down shortly afterwards as the MP for Wakefield.

The Crown Court trial heard evidence that Khan had forced the boy to drink gin then dragged him upstairs, forced him to watch pornography and then assaulted him.

The victim, now 29, had told the jury that he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, and was very close to touching his genitals.

The court heard that a report to the police was made at the time, concerning the incident, but no further action was taken because the victim did not want to make a formal complaint. He told his parents about the incident almost as soon as it had happened.

However, the young man told jurors it all came flooding back when he learned Khan was standing as a candidate in the December 2019 general election and he went on to file a complaint.

He said further that ‘he was not taken seriously’ when he made the allegation to the Conservative Party press office days before Khan was elected as MP for Wakefield.

Passing sentence in May, 2022, Mr Justice Baker said the victim had been profoundly and psychologically affected by Khan’s actions. He added: “The only regret you feel is towards yourself for having found yourself in the predicament you face as a result of your actions some 14 years ago.”

The full Court of Appeal judgment can be read here.

Page last updated Monday 5th December, 2022 at 1350hrs

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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