Cumbria

Takeaway brothel boss Azad Miah 'had contempt for victims'

Det Cons Christy Robertson
Image caption Det Con Christy Robertson said it was the worst case she had ever dealt with

A takeaway owner who incited girls into working as prostitutes from his premises in Carlisle showed "horrendous" contempt for his victims, police said.

Det Con Christy Robertson, the officer who interviewed Azad Miah, said the case was probably the worst she had ever dealt with.

She spoke after Miah, who ran the The Spice of India takeaway in Botchergate, was convicted of found guilty of inciting four girls, aged between 12 and 16, into prostitution.

Det Con Robertson said the defendant, also convicted of paying for the sexual services of two girls, targeted his victims because of their "chaotic and vulnerable lifestyles".

'Incredible ordeal'

She aid: "My perception of the man during the course of the interviews was that he showed contempt for the girls who had made complaints against him.

"And although he may have displayed courteous manners during the interview, my perception was that he was disrespectful in other ways, which just paralleled the contempt he showed with the girls."

Coming to court was an "incredible ordeal" for the victims, she explained.

"Those girls were addicted to alcohol or drugs, and although we may not like what Mr Miah is alleged to have done, they also needed the money that came with it because of that addiction," continued Det Con Robertson.

"That might be why complaints were not made at the time, or because of their criminal backgrounds in some cases.

"If they did mention something to someone they may have felt that they would not be believed, if you put that against someone who purported to be a successful businessman."

She described the evidence they gave as "incredibly sensitive and personal".

"They didn't collectively know who would be giving evidence so wasn't a case of they each knew and supported each other," she said.

'Very upsetting'

"A lot of them were doing this individually, but what they were saying was that they knew this was wrong.

"Even in their worst state of addiction they knew this wasn't right, and they knew this was their way of hopefully putting a stop to what was happening and protecting the next generation of girls."

Det Con Robertson said she had found the case "very sad, very upsetting".

"If I'm honest, it's probably the worst case I've ever had to deal with in my 22 years of service," she said.

"To see the impact on the girls as well, and what they've said, and then parallel that with the contempt that I feel Mr Miah displayed, it's horrendous.

"I would hate for any child to have to go through that in their life."

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