An Afghan asylum seeker has been jailed in Britain for the multiple rape of a 12-year-old Albanian schoolgirl with learning difficulties while living in a taxpayer-funded London hotel.
Sakhidad Ahadi was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court after pleading guilty to one count of rape and being convicted of a second count on the same victim between Dec. 22, 2022, and Jan. 1, 2023.
The 25-year-old, who initially claimed to be younger, was ordered to serve at least eight years behind bars before being considered for parole.
Ahadi was placed in the Queens Hotel in Crystal Palace, London after arriving in the U.K. and applying for asylum, claiming to be at risk of persecution following the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.
His victim, along with her immediate family, was also assigned to the same hotel after traveling from Albania and crossing the English Channel to reach Britain.
Hotels have been frequently used by the U.K. Home Office to accommodate new arrivals into the country with over 50,000 migrants currently being housed in hotel accommodations across the country at a cost of over £6 million per day.
The court heard how the Afghan national had groomed the young girl and coaxed her into his room before raping her on at least two separate occasions.
“He approached her near the hotel lifts and offered her cream for spots on her face,” prosecutor Janine Sheff told the court.
“She went with him to his room and he said he would massage and crack her back, but she was scared and told him she was 12 years old.
“He put on the cream and pulled her pants down and she said it hurt her and made her cry. He then turned her over and raped her again. It made a mess of the bed and the defendant tried to clean it up with toilet paper,” she added.
Ahadi then gave her £5 and bought her a SIM card in order to “buy her silence” and told her “to remain in contact via mobile phone.”
After eventually telling her parents about the attacks, the police were called and arrested Ahadi on Jan. 2. He remained in custody throughout the trial.
Upon his arrest, the court heard how he had claimed the schoolgirl had come to his room voluntarily and initiated sex and that she had told him she was 19 years old.
During the trial, Ahadi’s defense counsel claimed that her client’s cultural background made perceiving age more difficult than for someone from the Western world. “It may not be so clear to someone who has grown up in mountainous Afghanistan,” she said.
Labour MP Diane Abbott says rape of teenage boy at refugee hotel ‘is what happens when you demonize migrants’
After two sexual assaults at a refugee hotel housing both child and adult asylum seekers, Labour MP Diane Abbott criticized Home Secretary Suella Braverman for her anti-migrant rhetoric
This argument was dismissed by Judge Anthony Dunne who in sentencing told Ahadi: “You touched her and took her pants off, and you raped her first when she was face-down, and a medical examination revealed you tore her.
“Despite her young age and obvious distress, you turned her over, and after you finished there was a mess on the bed, which you cleaned up with toilet paper.
“She told you her real age and that she was 12 years old. She denied that she told you she was aged 19 and her version of events has been proved.
“It has been said your cultural background made it impossible for you to know she was 12. I reject that as implausible.
“While she was in obvious distress you raped her and she was vulnerable.
“Your sexual assault has had a significant effect on her mental health and your actions have had a highly significant psychological effect on her and her mother,” he added.
The sentencing judge said he was satisfied that Ahadi presented a “significant risk to the public” and “showed no remorse or insight” for the offenses.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison with a minimum tariff of eight years. The judge also ordered an extended license period of three years following release and for Ahadi to remain on the sex offenders register for life.