A TAKEAWAY delivery driver from Rotherham, who sent messages to a 15-year-old girl pestering her for sex, has been set free by top judges on appeal.
Aftab Mahmood Hussain (37) of Holywell Place, was jailed for 40 months at Sheffield Crown Court on April 22.
He admitted two counts of inciting sexual activity with a child and one of attempted witness intimidation.
The “inappropriate exchanges” with the girl began on Facebook, Sir Brian Keith told London's Appeal Court on Thursday.
One of the messages he sent to the teenager read: “You up for a shag or what.”
He also asked her to send him photos of her breasts, but she again refused.
Later Hussain spoke to the girl in the street and told her that if he was arrested or locked up, “she and her family would get it”.
He had a “number of previous convictions”, said the judge, including for motoring offences, violence and witness intimidation.
A probation officer’s report said he had “expressed shame for his behaviour “but he 'doubted that was entirely genuine”.
Mr Dermot Hughes, for Hussain, argued before the Appeal Court that the jail term was far too tough and ought to be cut.
Hussain had incited the girl but no sexual activity had actually happened, the court heard.
Sir Brian, who was sitting with Lord Justice Gross and Mrs Justice Lang, agreed it was too harsh a sentence.
Looking at Hussain’s crimes overall, the judge said the “appropriate sentence” was ten months’ imprisonment.
With time spent in custody before he was sent down, the judge anticipated Hussain would be “released immediately”.
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.