Asylum seeker who 'didn't understand' it was illegal to have sex with a child gets snared in Sunderland

This is the moment an asylum seeker who 'didn't understand' that it was illegal to have sex with a child was snared by paedophile hunters.

Adil Sultan turned up to meet a 14-year-old girl called Laura, who he believed he had been chatting to on social media site Scout, but instead greeted by Guardians of the North.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the paedophile hunters had set up a fake profile on the site to expose adults looking for sex with underage users.

Sultan, 39, who had posed as a 25-year-old and used a fake online name, was arrested by police, who had been alerted by the Guardians, when he travelled to Sunderland from his home in Middlesbrough to meet Laura for sex last August.

The court heard Sultan, who is from Pakistan, had believed “it was ok” to have sex with a girl of 14.

He now claims he cannot return to his homeland due to the unrest caused as a result of the rape and murder of an eight year old girl, which has sparked widespread, furious protests and clashes.

The court heard Sultan now intends to apply for asylum in the UK.

Sultan, of Victoria Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced him to 17 months behind bars with ten years sex offender registration and sexual harm prevention order.

The judge told him: "You used a false name. You said you were 25 when in fact you are 39.

"Very quickly Laura told you she was 14. Nonetheless, you went on to discuss having penetrative sexual activity with her.

"The conversation very quickly became sexual and you were asking for indecent images of herself.

"Your barrister tells me you thought it was OK to have sex with 14-year-olds. That is no excuse and offers you no mitigation."

Mohammed Rafiq, defending, said Sultan had gone on the site to look for adults and he had no intention of deliberately seeking a young person.

Mr Rafiq said: "He apologises to the court for his actions.

"He has brought shame upon himself and his family, who have found out about his circumstances because he has been in custody.

"He comes from a conservative country, Pakistan.

"The mood in that particular country is quite heated at the moment because a young girl, eight-years-old, was abducted and killed.

"He has instructed me that it would be unsafe for him to go back to his country and someone else is instructed to make an application for asylum. That is another matter for another tribunal."

Mr Rafiq said Sultan has never been in trouble before.

Mr Rafiq added: "He didn't understand. Obviously each country is different."

Judge Moreland asked Mr Rafiq to clarify that it was the fact that it was not OK to have sex with 14-year-olds that Sultan did not understand.

Mr Rafiq replied: "He did not understand that."

Adil Sultan

Adil Sultan