A MAN aged 53 has been jailed for four and a half years for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Akhtar Hussain was infatuated with the child, proposing to her on one knee and saying he would leave his family and take her to Pakistan, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Hussain, of Newburn Road, Great Horton, Bradford, had sex with the girl in a room he rented in the centre of the city on a date in July last year.

He was arrested after the child was reported missing from home. She was questioned by the police and revealed that she had been with Hussain and that she had sex with him a few days earlier.

Hussain, a chef, was charged with rape but yesterday the Crown accepted his guilty plea to the alternative offence of sexual activity with a child.

Prosecutor, Jayne Beckett, said Hussain called the child his girlfriend, told her he loved her and threatened to kill himself if she did not return his affections.

He knelt down and asked her to marry him, saying he would leave his wife and three children and take her to Pakistan.

They met up in the rented room and at a local park, Mrs Beckett said.

The girl told the police they were kissing in the room and “it happened” on Hussain’s bed.

“She said ‘no’ and he kept asking, and was talking about love and marriage, and giving her money,” the court heard.

“She said ‘no’ but was worn down by him,” Mrs Beckett said.

The girl later told Hussain: “We have to end this” but he said he couldn’t because he loved her.

The court heard that the girl was medically examined and had an injury consistent with sexual activity a few days earlier. Traces of Hussain’s semen were found in her knickers.

Hussain made a statement denying any sexual contact with the girl, telling the police: “No more questions; dirty questions. She is like my granddaughter.”

Mrs Beckett said a significant aggravating feature of the case was the 40 year age disparity between Hussain and the girl.

Hussain pleaded guilty yesterday after the child and her father flew to the UK from Poland. They had returned to their homeland but came back for the court case.

“Her father says she used to be always playing and now she is very different,” Mrs Beckett said.

“She found it difficult when she came to England from Poland, and then this happened and she cannot erase it from her memory. She feels like it is with her all the time.”

Hussain’s barrister, Rodney Ferm, said his client was estranged from his wife at the time because of his drinking. He was at a low ebb and had “a crush” on the child.

“This wasn’t just cynical behaviour. He was lonely and isolated and he did develop strong feelings for this young girl,” Mr Ferm said.

“He did feel misguided but genuine affection for her. It never was non-consensual.”

Mr Fern said Hussain had the ordeal of the rape charge hanging over him, like the Sword of Damacles, for a very long time.

The infatuation with the girl lasted two weeks and he had sex with her one occasion.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, said that although Hussain came to the UK from Pakistan in around 1980, he still needed an interpreter for the court hearing. As the girl had come to Bradford from Poland, there was a significant language barrier and it was hard to see how a “relationship” could have developed between them.

“You saw her and took a fancy to her and had 'a relationship' with her for about two weeks. It is said that you were lonely and isolated and developed a crush on her. But communication between you must have been difficult and it must have been hard to form a genuine relationship.

“You, of course, were 40 years her senior, that is a massive difference of age,” Judge Thomas said.

He continued: “Your interests were driven entirely by sexual gratification.”

Hussain must sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and the judge made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from any future contact with the girl or with any female under 16.

Judge Thomas returned a formal not guilty verdict on the charge of rape.

Afterwards, an NSPCC spokesman said: “Hussain carried out appalling abuse on a vulnerable 13-year-old child and is now rightly behind bars.

“Akhtar knew his behaviour was wrong and that his victim could not consent to sexual activity. We hope she is now receiving help and support to overcome what has happened to her.  

“We need to ensure that children who have been abused by predators like Hussain feel confident to come forward, safe in the knowledge that their voices will be heard and they can receive justice.”