A former Tory MP jailed for groping a 15-year-old boy has lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his conviction and sentence.
Imran Ahmad Khan, 49, was jailed for 18 months at Southwark Crown Court in May, after being found guilty of sexual assaulting the teenager after a party in 2008. Two days after winning his seat in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election, Khan contacted one of the victim’s relatives expressing concerns about the 2008 incident, and the victim later went to police.
Khan was expelled from the Conservative Party and resigned, triggering a by-election in the constituency, following his conviction.
The former MP brought an appeal against his conviction and sentence, which was heard at the Court of Appeal in November.
His lawyers argued that his conviction was “unsafe” because the case against him was “weak” and was bolstered by “bad character evidence” in the form of a man who alleged he had been sexually assaulted as an adult by Khan in Pakistan in 2010.
They also argued his jail term was too long for the offence and should have been suspended. But both appeals were dismissed by three senior judges in a ruling on Monday.
The judge said Khan had displayed a “significant degree of brutality” in the lead-up to the assault, as he dragged his victim upstairs and threw him on to a bed.
The Crown Court also heard how he forced the then teenager to drink gin and tonic and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire, after a party in January 2008.
The victim, who cannot be identified, said he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan, then 34, touched his feet and legs, coming within “a hair’s breadth” of his privates, as he went to sleep in a top bunk bed.
Khan, who is gay and a Muslim, claimed he only touched the Catholic teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality.
Khan was found guilty of a single count of sexual assault after about five hours of deliberations by a jury.