February 2017

Blackpool kebab shop owner who groomed young girl caged


A kebab shop owner who groomed a vulnerable schoolgirl has been caged for six and a half years.

Kashif Gul, 39, who lived above his takeaway on Foxhall Road, Blackpool, was found guilty of two charges of gross indecency against a child aged under 16.

Jurors previously heard he had bought a ring and clothes for the youngster, after befriending her through her mother. He went onto to commit acts against the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

In a harrowing victim impact statement she said: “He knew I had few friends. “He knew I was shy, sweet and young and an easy catch for him.” Prosecuting, Andrew Ford said: “There was plain evidence he groomed her by giving her drink and cannabis, going around topless.

The court remarked that the victim in this case had suffered warped moral guidance by her mother and the defendant saw and exploited the chance given to him. The mother was not providing proper parenting.”

The court heard on the second occasion Gul had attended her home with a DVD of himself bodybuilding and gone to her room with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of Coke.

He told her he had ‘just used her for sex’ the first time but now thought she was quite a nice girl. Mr Ford added: “She went to get some glasses and when she returned he was cross legged with his shirt off, and cajoled and groomed her.”

Judge Sara Dodd, sentencing him at Preston’s Sessions House court, said his victim had felt ‘trapped’ during each incident.

She added: “I have no doubt at all you saw her as an easy target. Unexpectedly you turned up at her home. She was painting your nails and you stroked her hand. She thought you were interested in her. “There has been serious psychological harm.”

The judge said she was concerned the author of Gul’s pre sentence report had indicated he had a negative attitude towards women.

Gul, sporting a beard and a maroon sweater, appeared to begin to cry when his Urdu interpreter told him of his sentence.

He was in Britain legally but could now face deportation at the end of his sentence when immigration officials review his case. He will be on the Sex Offender’s Register for life.

The court heard the victim was now a married mum in a stable relationship. She had confided in police about Gul when they knocked on her door during an unrelated investigation.

Gul was investigated by the same team of officers probing the disappearance of schoolgirl Charlene Downes, who have widened the scope of the investigation to the broader problem of child sexual exploitation in the resort, though officers have stressed he has no link to her inquiry.