4:37pm Monday 28th April 2014
By Steve Wright
A market trader, who said a 14-year-old girl had invented sexual allegations against him, has been cleared of all charges by a Bradford Crown Court jury.
Mazhar Hussain Shah, 39, who had denied four charges of rape and one of sexually assaulting the girl, was yesterday found not guilty of all the allegations.
Mr Shah stood calmly, with his hands clasped behind his back, as the jury of six men and six women returned their verdicts after a four-day trial at Bradford Crown Court.
He was discharged from the dock by Judge John Potter.
The jury had watched a videotaped interview the teenager gave to the police in which she claimed Mr Shah began to sexually assault her and went on to repeatedly rape her.
She claimed that one one occasion he locked her in a room and forced her to have sex with him, and she alleged that he sent her sexually explicit text messages.
She claimed he had begged for forgiveness after one allegation, saying God would punish him.
Prosecutor Nick Askins told the court that police were alerted by teachers and a social worker after the girl made the abuse claims to a classmate.
But giving evidence, Mr Shah, who lived in Bradford at the time but has since moved to Bedford, said he was entirely innocent of the allegations.
He told the jury that on one of the days the teenager claimed he had raped her, he had been working late at his market clothes stall in Bradford.
He said the girl had invented the accusations against him, but he did not know why.
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