A former Tory MP jailed for groping a 15-year-old boy has been released from prison after serving half his sentence.
Imran Ahmad Khan was jailed in May last year for 18 months after being found guilty of sexually assaulting the teenager after a party in 2008.
The 49-year-old lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his conviction and sentence in December. His lawyers argued that his conviction was “unsafe” because the case against him was “weak” and was bolstered by “bad character evidence” in the form of a man who alleged he had been sexually assaulted as an adult by Khan in Pakistan in 2010.
They also argued his jail term was too long for the offence and should have been suspended, but both appeals were dismissed by three senior judges in a ruling in December last year.
The disgraced Wakefield MP reportedly left HMP Brixton in south London on Tuesday (21 February) morning and was met by friends who helped him carry his belongings to a car before he was driven away.
Pictures published by the Wakefield Express on Wednesday appeared to show Khan with long hair and a beard after serving nine months of his sentence behind bars. The Ministry of Justice later confirmed he had been released.
Two days after winning his West Yorkshire seat in the December 2019 general election, Khan contacted one of the victim’s relatives expressing concerns about the 2008 incident, and the victim later went to police.
Khan was expelled from the Conservative Party and resigned following his conviction, triggering a by-election in the constituency which was won by Labour.
His court case heard that he displayed a “significant degree of brutality” in the lead-up to the assault at a house in Staffordshire, as he dragged his victim upstairs and threw him on to a bed, forcing the then teenager to drink gin and tonic and asking him to watch pornography.
The court heard the victim was “inconsolable” when he ran to his parents after the attack. A police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken because the boy did not want to make a formal complaint. However, he told jurors “it all came flooding back” when he learned Khan was standing in the general election.
He said he was not “taken very seriously” when he made the allegation to the Tory press office days before Khan won the Wakefield seat, and went to police after Khan helped the Conservatives win a large Commons majority.
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said: “The only regret you feel is towards yourself for having found yourself in the predicament you face as a result of your actions some 14 years ago.
“Although it may well be over the years you had let yourself believe you had got away with having committed this offence, I am sure you were aware from the outset there was a risk there would be a day of reckoning.”