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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Restaurant boss faces child sex charges

A CURRY house boss who paid a 14-year-old girl £200 for sex told her the younger his partners were the better, a jury heard.

The girl, now in her 20s, said that Azad Miah, 44, had used her as a prostitute for three years, when she was aged between 14 and 17.

The defendant, who ran the Spice of India in Botchergate, Carlisle, and takeaways in Whitehaven and Cockermouth, has denied hounding young girls for sex while running a brothel.

On Tuesday, a Carlisle Crown Court jury heard the evidence of one of the girls who said she was paid by Miah to have sex with him. The court also heard from another girl who said she was just 12 when the restaurant boss pestered her for sex, sending her up to 50 text messages a day.

The first witness had earlier given a videotaped interview to police in which she said that by the time she was 14 she was spending up to £60 a day on drugs.

She told officers how she met Miah through a friend, who told her that he was paying her for sex. Asked if she was paid every time she had sex with the defendant, she replied: “He used to give me money straight afterwards.”

In court, the woman said there were three other men working at the Spice of India who she had sex with for money.

Stephen Meadowcroft QC, for Miah, suggested to the woman that she began having sex with the defendant in 2008 when she was 17. He said Miah had given her money, but out of friendship, not for sex.

The witness described how Miah had driven her and a friend into the countryside. She said: “He asked me how much I wanted for having sex with him. I said I didn’t know. He offered me £200 to sleep with him...

“I told him I was 14, going on 15. I asked him if he would prefer to have sex with [my friend] rather than me, and he said he would rather have me because he preferred younger girls. The younger the better.”

The barrister outlined allegations made by the girl which he said had been “totally false”. They included a claim that she was drugged and raped in September 2008. The witness agreed the claim was false, but she said she was drugged and she was told by somebody she had been raped but she couldn’t remember it. She admitted that she may have “once or twice” made up false allegations when she was younger.

Miah, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, has denied eight counts of paying for the sexual services of a child between 2005 and 2009; and eight counts of inciting child prostitution, involving six girls aged between 12 and 16. He has also denied a charge of keeping a brothel at the Spice of India. The trial continues.

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