A man who assaulted an eight year old in a Greggs bakery in Leeds has been given a 15 month jail sentence.
Adnan Maqsood sparked a police manhunt over his attack on the youngster which he carried out as she was on a shopping trip with her mother and brother on February 12 this year.
Maqsood, 34, was identified after CCTV images of him in the store on the Headrow were released by West Yorkshire Police.
He was initially arrested on suspicion of sexual assault but was found not guilty of the offence after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.
Maqsood had earlier pleaded guilty to an offence of common assault.
The trial heard how Maqsood assaulted the girl as she was sat at a table waiting for her mother to be served at the popular bakery around 3.30pm.
CCTV images showed Maqsood stroking the youngster’s hands and stroking her face and body.
The girl later described to officers how Maqsood touched the front of her body like he was “bathing” or “rubbing cream” on her.
Maqsood admitted touching the girl but denied there was anything sexual behind what he had done.
He said he was just being friendly as he was a “talkative person” but with hindsight accepted that what he had done was wrong.
Maqsood, of Windermere Road, Bradford, is currently serving a 15-month prison sentence for stalking a 69-year-old old women.
The court heard that offending took place between March 2014 and July this year after he became “infatuated” with the pensioner.
Maqsood would constantly turn up at the victim’s home in Bradford and ask questions about her health.
On one occasion the woman was being taken to hospital by ambulance staff and he approached her outside her home and said: “I’m your greatest fan.”
Kate Batty, mitigating, said Maqsood had mental health difficulties when the offending took place.
Judge Penelope Belcher ordered the 15-month sentence for the assault on the girl to run concurrent to the sentence he is currently serving.
Decribing the offence, the judge said: “It is an offence that will affect her. It will affect her treatment of strangers in the future and her trust in people.
“This victim was obviously particularly vulnerable because of her age and because her mother’s back was turned.
“I make no criticism at all of her mother. It was perfectly reasonable to send her children to that table while keeping an eye on them over her shoulder as she did.”
Det Insp Steve Greenbank, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Maqsood wrongly thought he could get away with assaulting an eight-year-old girl in a very public place while her mother was momentarily distracted. When the incident was reported to police, we conducted a full and comprehensive investigation and identified Maqsood as the suspect with the assistance of public. We are very grateful to everyone who contacted us with information following our appeal.
“We hope the victim and her family will take some comfort from knowing that he has now had to face the consequences of his actions. We also hope his conviction will act as a deterrent to others and give victims of similar offences the confidence to come forward.”
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