Peterborough man who groomed girl on Facebook and then raped her jailed
A Peterborough man who groomed a teenager via Facebook and then raped her in a hotel room has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Imtiaz Baig contacted the 16-year-old via the social media site in late 2014 and spent months messaging her and also contacting her by phone.
During the correspondence, 37-year-old Baig told her he was a businessman renting out prestige cars and even helicopters, and he made her offers of money.
He attempted to meet her on a number of occasions, but the girl was wary of his motives and did not turn up.
Baig eventually persuaded her to meet him at a hotel in Newark, Nottinghamshire on 29 August 2015.
He gave her alcoholic drinks, even though she had asked for lemonade, and talked about possibly involving her in his business.
He then made her undress and raped her.
After the assault, the girl persuaded him to go into the bathroom. She then grabbed his clothing and ran from the hotel, meeting her brother nearby.
He took her to Newark Police station where she handed over Baig’s belongings.
Baig claimed to hotel staff that he had been robbed and he was given clothing. He then left in a taxi.
However, officers managed to trace the vehicle and the taxi was stopped on the A1 near Grantham.
He was arrested and later charged with rape.
Baig, of Straight Drove, Farcet, near Peterborough, was convicted following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in January.
He appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (5 February) for sentencing.
After the sentencing, Detective Inspector Nikki Smith of Nottinghamshire Police said: “This case underlines the lengths that dangerous individuals like Baig will go to in order to entice a child to engage in sexual activity.
“Baig spent months grooming his victim through Facebook and phone messages, and was not even deterred by the occasions when she did not turn up to meet him.
“She was rightly wary of his motives initially, but he persisted and did eventually persuade her to meet him with the sole intention of having sex with her whether she consented or not.
DI Smith added: “I would like to pay tribute to the courage of the victim. Despite the trauma of the incident and the effect of the alcohol he had persuaded her to drink, she had the presence of mind to take his clothing and other belongings to prevent him from fleeing the hotel.
“Her brother, whom she had already arranged to meet to pick her up, sensibly took her to Newark Police Station where excellent work by the officer who met ensured that crucial evidence, including the telephone correspondence between Baig and the girl, was quickly obtained.
“More quick work by the officer ensured that Baig’s taxi was stopped as he tried to return home.
“As a result of those actions, the support given to the victim and her family and a first class investigation, Baig has been convicted of rape and is now beginning a significant prison sentence.”