September 2011

Iraqi avoids jail after sex with girl, 15

A MAN who had sex with a girl just four days before she turned 16 has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

Barzan Zana met the schoolgirl on an internet site, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.

The girl told 23-year-old Zana she was aged 19. But the Iraqi later found out her real age. Despite this they carried on their relationship.

The court heard Zana stayed at the girl’s Stoke-on-Trent address in February and they had sex on more than one occasion, just four days before she would have turned 16.

Zana stayed at the girl’s home again in May after she smuggled him into her home.

But he was discovered by her brother.

Zana, formerly of Stoke-on-Trent who now lives in London, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child.

Mark Connor, mitigating, said the relationship was entirely consensual and the girl actively encouraged a sexual relationship.

He said it was the girl who contacted Zana and said she was aged 19.

“He had no reason to doubt her,” said Mr Connor. “He then had intercourse with her in the knowledge she was 15.”

Mr Connor argued Judge Robert Trevor-Jones could depart from the sentencing guidelines because the sex took place so close to the girl’s 16th birthday. He added the defendant had served the equivalent of an eight-month sentence on remand.

Judge Trevor-Jones sentenced Zana to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with 180 hours unpaid work. He will be on the sex offenders’ register for five years and barred from working with children.