A MARRIED man who repeatedly raped a young girl has been jailed for 15 years.
Ejaz Akhtar, 46, of Anglesey Road, Burton, subjected the girl to a sustained period of sexual abuse which lasted for more than two years, beginning when she was just 13.
Akhtar was jailed at Stafford Crown Court after being arrested following his return from Pakistan. He had left Britain for the country shortly before his trial was due to begin.
The court heard the full and graphic account of Akhtar’s encounters with the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and how the abuse escalated to the point of rape.
Akhtar appeared in court for sentencing, having already being convicted in his absence.
Before sending him down for 15 years, Judge Mark Eades told him: “It went on for two years or so and escalated into sexual intercourse, beginning when she was 13.
“There were many acts of sexual intercourse, it involved repeated rapes.”
The court was told Akhtar’s wife had been oblivious to her husband’s actions during the two years that the abuse went on and that his motive was ‘sexual gratification’.
Judge Eades added: “You hid your behaviour from your wife. The motivation appears to be sexual gratification.”
Alex Kirkler, defending, insisted that Akhtar, who has lived in Britain since 2001, had not left for Pakistan to evade capture, but to visit his father who was said to be extremely ill.
He said he had returned of his own accord to face the music.
Mr Kirkler said: “He left for Pakistan and returned here some days ago, having been found guilty in his absence.
“He was fully aware of the likely sentence that would follow. The cynical view might have been he had left the country to avoid being sentenced for these offences, and his return demonstrates a side of his character which is worthy of credit.
“He has come back to face the punishment.”
Mr Kirkler said Akhtar had never offended before during his 12 years in the UK and had been a ‘hard-working’ citizen.
Akhtar was found guilty by jury of three charges of rape and one of sexual activity with a child.