Pizza man found guilty of sexual activity with child, rape charge dropped

Tahir Mehmood was found guilty of sexual activity with a child at Swindon Crown

Tahir Mehmood was found guilty of sexual activity with a child at Swindon Crown

First published in News

A PIZZA delivery driver could be facing a jail term after he was found guilty of sexual activity with a child.

Tahir Mehmood had been accused of raping the 15-year-old but after a jury failed to reach a verdict on the allegation for a second time the Crown will not proceed with it.

But the 27-year-old father of four step children now has to register as a sex offender as a result of the unanimous conviction on the other matter.

Mehmood, formerly of Ermin Street but now living in Carver Close, Stratton, had pleaded not guilty to both counts.

He initially stood trial at Swindon Crown Court in November last year when the first jury could not decide whether or not he forced himself on the youngster.

And after deliberating for eight and a half hours at the end of a four day trial this week the second panel sent back a note saying they were deadlocked on the rape charge.

However the jury, which was reduced to eleven after one of the original 12 realised they knew a witness' family, agreed he knew she was under age.

Judge Douglas Field adjourned the case to Wednesday August 27 so the probation service can compile a pre-sentence report, and released him on bail until then.

He said "The fact that you are being granted bail should not be taken as any indication of the final outcome of your case."

The amount of time he will have to register as a sex offender will be determined by the sentence he receives: the maximum jail term is 14 years.

He is on bail on condition he observes a night time curfew, does not contact witnesses and does not convey a female under 16 in a vehicle unless a member of her family is present or in the course of employment.

Mehmood, who is originally from Pakistan and needed an Urdu interpreter for the trials, has already surrendered his passport to the police.

It had been alleged he plied the teenager with drink before raping her at an empty bungalow he kept for when family visited from the subcontinent.

He insisted she look round the property as he took her home late at night, she said, and when showing her the bedroom he threw her on the bed and raped her as she screamed 'no'.

She said she was too ashamed to report the matter straight away and the court was told she revealed what happened bit by bit in conversations with her best friend.

The girl initially told her they had sex, but when the other girl said he had also been asking her to sleep with him she said he had forced himself on her.

Mehmood, who said he didn't know the girl was only 15, maintained she consented to having sex with him.

After asking for a lift, he said, the girl then told him to get her some wine at Tesco and then said she didn't want to go home.

He said he took her to the bungalow because he needed to check the post there and insisted she was a willing partner.

And a former colleague of the defendant, 18-year-old Toni Cox said the girl told her she had slept with him so her would buy her booze for the school prom after-party.

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