Illegal immigrant who sexually assaulted a sleeping teenager in Burnley is jailed (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Illegal immigrant who sexually assaulted a sleeping teenager in Burnley is jailed
6:12pm Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
A 'DANGEROUS' illegal immigrant who sexually assaulted a sleeping teenager in Burnley and then went on the run for more than two years has been jailed.
Mohammed Shah Nawaz Cheema, 30, fled to Barcelona following the attack.
Police launched a major investigation and issued a national appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.
The defendant, of no fixed address, was detained in Spain after detectives obtained a European arrest warrant and brought him back to Lancashire.
Cheema, of no fixed address, admitted sexual assault in November 2009.
He was jailed for two years and was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years. The defendant, who is also known as Fakhar Zaman, faces being deported when he has served his sentence.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Cheema, who had been working in a restaurant in the town, had originally been accused of rape and denied the allegation.
Jane Dagnall, prosecuting, said the victim awoke in a house to find herself naked and Cheema committing sex acts on her.
She pushed him off, got dressed and left.
Police were contacted and the teenager was examined.
It is understood the defendant fled to Pakistan and then Spain.
Police tried to find him and the case was featured on Crimewatch in July last year.
Cheema contacted police to advise them of his whereabouts and he was arrested in Spain on May 31 this year.
When the defendant had been interviewed, he had denied rape. He claimed the victim consented to sexual activity.
Miss Dagnall said the victim couldn't sleep, she suffered anxiety attacks and said her career had been ruined.
In her impact statement, the victim said: 'I will worry if he gets released.'
Virginia Hayton, for Cheema, said there had been no violence and thankfully, the girl was not physically injured.
The defendant had been born and brought up in Lahore. He was witness to a police shooting, he and his family were threatened, he had to leave the country in May 2002 and had to do so illegally because the police had retained his passport.
The court heard he travelled on false documents with a man whom he owed a debt of about £9,500.
He then worked for the man for two years to try and pay off of the debts.
The defendant moved to Burnley in July/ August 2004, had later worked as an assistant sales manager for Sky TV and worked in a restaurant by the end of 2008.
Miss Hayton said Cheema had left England through Dover, in December 2009.
He later heard he was wanted in the UK, contacted Crimestoppers and was told to present himself at a police station. He was arrested and extradited.
The barrister said: "It's inevitable he will be deported if he receives a sentence of 12 months or more. I will submit he is highly unlikely to commit any further offences .He is motivated to address any issues."
Sentencing, Judge Edward Slinger said: "This young woman has had these matters hanging over her for almost three years. She has not been able to have any sense of closure."
DC Sarah Tucker, from Burnley CID, said: “Cheema is a dangerous man who committed a very serious offence."