A MAN who groomed a young teenager online before meeting him for sex in a Bradford hotel room has been spared jail due to his severe mental health issues.

Mohammed Imran, 37, began chatting with the 14 year-old boy from Bradford, who cannot be named, over the internet in June last year.

Prosecutor David McGonigal told Bradford Crown Court said the exchanges started out as general conversation before becoming more sexual, with Imran telling the boy he “loved” him.

The pair began exchanging WhatsApp messages, including sending images of their genitalia.

The court heard that Imran offered to pay the boy £70 if he spent the night with him, and they arranged to meet at the Travelodge at Forster Square in Bradford on July 6.

When the boy arrived straight from school still in his uniform, he texted Imran who told him to come up to a room on the fourth floor of the hotel.

Once inside, Imran kissed the boy before telling him to undress. The pair then engaged in various sexual acts, including penetrative sexual activity.

Just after leaving the hotel that evening, the boy rang his mother to tell her he had been raped. He was picked up by his brother and taken to a local police station.

Enquiries were made as to Imran’s whereabouts, and hotel staff told officers he had checked into a Travelodge in Leeds after becoming aware the boy’s relatives were looking for him.

Mr McGonigal said: “It seemed he left the hotel in fear.”

In interview, Imran said he regularly met other gay adult men after chatting to them on internet sites. He admitted chatting to the boy and sending him messages of a sexual nature.

He said he was “suspicious” that his victim was not 18, but said that when they met up, it was the boy who had instigated the sexual activity.

In a victim impact statement, the boy’s mother said that since the incident, he was “very withdrawn from life” and showing signs of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Helen Chapman, mitigating, said psychiatric reports into Imran, of Mary Street, Birmingham, showed a “significant impairment of mental intelligence.”

She said her client had never lived independently, and said his was an “exceptional” case due to his “unique difficulties.”

Imran pleaded guilty to charges of grooming a child for sexual activity, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, said Imran suffered from “massive learning difficulties”, with an IQ measured at just 58.

He said: “You are in a category of less than 0.1 per cent of the population. The question of unfitness to plead was a very real one.

“In old insensitive terms, you would be viewed as what was called seriously mentally retarded. You are somebody who barely functions and has a rudimentary assessment of right from wrong.

“Sending you to prison would be a pointless exercise in many ways, and would be cruel.”

Imran was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete up to 50 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must register as a sex offender for the next ten years.