23rd Oct, 2017

Vigilante group's 'entrapment' leads to jail for child sex grooming

Coventry Editorial 7th Sep, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MAN who tried to meet an under-age girl for sex after he had overstayed his student visa is expected to be deported to Pakistan after serving a prison sentence.

In fact the girl did not exist, and her online profile had been created by a vigilante group Letzgo Hunting, who snared Quisar Yousaf when he turned up expecting to meet her.

Yousaf (25) of King Richard Street, Hillfields, Coventry, was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years following his release – although it is actually expected that he will be deported as soon as he has served his sentence.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Yousaf came to this country from Pakistan on a student visa in 2012 and ‘overstayed’ after it expired last year.

In January he initiated an internet conversation with ‘Lucy,’ who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

Between mid-January at February 7, when he thought he was about to meet Lucy in Hinckley, he believed he was talking online to someone who made it clear she was only 14.

When he turned up for the meeting he was confronted, and following his arrest his phone was seized and analysed and found to contain the messages which had been exchanged.

“It is pretty evident matters of a sexual nature were being discussed from an early stage,” said Mr Jackson.

Yousaf asked Lucy whether she was still a virgin and whether he could be her boyfriend, sending her an indecent image of himself and telling her: “I would love to cuddle up to you.”

Asked to promise not to hurt her, he said he would try not to, adding: “It will hurt a bit because it’s your first time.”

And Mr Jackson commented: “It is perfectly clear what his intentions were.”

When Yousaf was interviewed following his arrest, he claimed he did not really think Lucy was 14; and that if he found she was when they met, they would just have gone for a meal.

Yousaf, who had previously been in conversation with a 15-year-old, failed to surrender after initially being given bail, and was arrested in a restaurant in May.

The case had been adjourned for enquiries to be made with the Home Office to confirm that Yousaf will be deported – but Mr Jackson added that neither the prosecution nor the defence had received any response to their requests for information.

Simon Ward, defending, said: “All I can tell you is what Mr Yousaf has told me – that people from the Home Office have visited him and told him he is going to be deported.”

He said that if Yousaf had been a UK citizen he might have asked the judge to pass a community sentence together with a three-year sex offenders’ programme – but instead asked the judge to give him ‘the lowest sentence you can.’

Mr Ward pointed out that the website on which Yousaf met Lucy was for over-18s, so he had not deliberately set out to find an under-age girl.

He suggested there was ‘a higher degree of provocation’ than law enforcement agencies would use, observing that at one stage ‘they are concerned he is not being as enthusiastic as they thought he might be, and drew him back into it.’

“I hesitate to use the word entrapment, but that’s what it was.  He was not looking for a child, but took the bait when it was dangled in front of him,” added Mr Ward.

Jailing Yousaf, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “The very existence of this group, whatever one may think of it, exemplifies the widespread anger and revulsion which arises out of this type of case.

“If the courts were not seen to take this seriously, it would be a recipe for an alternative and wholly undesirable anarchic reaction; and anyway, the courts ought to take this seriously because young people are vulnerable.

“They are still children and they need protection.”


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