A predatory paedophile who tried to lure a schoolgirl into his car before kidnapping another girl the same afternoon has been described by a judge as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
Zeshaan Tariq, 28, was driving in Dogsthorpe on 7 July last year when he pulled up to his first victim, a 10-year-old girl, who was walking to her mum’s workplace at about 3.30pm.
Tariq told the child to get in his car and, when she refused, he got verbally aggressive and she ran away. However, he followed her until she came across a group of people, crying and asking for help.
At about 4pm, the second victim, a girl aged 12, got off a bus and was approached by Tariq, who told her not to walk along Redmile Walk as there were “bad people” there.
He told her she would be safe in his car and, despite knowing he was a stranger to the child, he said, “Come with your uncle, I’m your uncle”, so she got in the back.
Tariq parked up and went to the back of the car and gave the victim a fizzy drink, which she later described to officers as “tasting funny”. He then touched her inappropriately before sexually assaulting her.
The victim told him she wanted to get out of the car, but he refused to let her go. After a struggle, the girl managed to escape, but he continued to follow the distressed victim until he saw her crying to a member of the public, who had dialled 999.
Following CCTV checks and two days after the offences, police caught Tariq in his VW Golf in Welland Road where he was found to be driving while disqualified and without insurance.
He was arrested and, on his phone, officers discovered recent Google searches on “how to lure a child to a car”. They also found a bottle of fizzy drink and a bottle of vodka in the back of his car.
After being found guilty of kidnap, attempted kidnap and sexual assault at Cambridge Crown Court in March, Tariq, of Meadow Grove, Welland, Peterborough, was sentenced on May 5 to eight years and nine months in prison, with an extended licence period of three years and made subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
He admitted two counts of driving while disqualified and has had six points added to his licence and been disqualified from driving for a further eight years and eight months.
When sentencing, he was described by Judge Bishop as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
He said: “Your internet search history was an alarming insight into what you intended to do.
“Society rightly worries about the fact that children do not play outside, you are the reason for that change of concern. This proves it is rare, but real. You are an extremely dangerous individual.”
DC Claire Atkinson, who investigated, said: “Tariq has proven to be a very dangerous man who poses a clear risk to children. The victims have been very brave in reporting their ordeals.
“I am pleased he has faced justice and will be closely monitored for the rest of his life.”
For information about child abuse, including how to report it, please visit the dedicated page on the force website.
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