Bradford

Bradford fugitive sentenced to 21 years for child rape

Mohammed Nawaz
Image caption Police believe Nawaz may be abroad and are trying to find him

A man who raped and sexually abused a 13-year-old girl more than 100 times has been jailed in his absence after he disappeared in the middle of his trial.

Mohammed Nawaz, 57, who is thought to have fled to Pakistan, was given a 21-year sentence at Teesside Crown Court.

He was convicted of four counts of rape and five indecent assaults on two girls after he disappeared in October.

Nawaz, of Flockton Road, East Bowling, Bradford, repeatedly preyed on the 13-year-old, the court heard.

Mr Justice Treacy said Nawaz had shown a "total absence of shame, of recognition of what he has done and of remorse".

The court heard Nawaz assaulted the 13-year-old girl at the flat he owned above his takeaway in Stanningley, Leeds.

The judge said: "These acts occurred on dozens and dozens of occasions, probably running into three figures."

The court heard Nawaz would use bribes of cigarettes to coerce the child and would sit in his car waiting for her to pass him in the street.

"This shows a degree of predatory ruthlessness towards an underage girl," the judge said.

Nawaz also abused a younger girl, aged 11.

The offending was prolonged and "committed in a manipulative and cynical way", the judge said.

Nawaz was held in high esteem in his local community, the court heard, having lived in the UK for 40 years and running a successful business and becoming a landlord.

The judge made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans Nawaz from contacting either victim and prevents him from unsupervised contact with any girl under 16.

He will automatically be banned from working with children.

Det Insp Ian Mottershaw, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "We are investigating the possibility that he has fled the country and we are working with the appropriate international authorities to locate him and secure his return."

Mr Mottershaw appealed to anyone with information about Nawaz's whereabouts to contact police or Crimestoppers.

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