Nazir Ahmed: Disgraced peer jailed for more than five years over sex attacks in 1970s

A disgraced peer found guilty of trying to rape a young girl and sexually assaulting a boy aged under 11 in the 1970s has been jailed for more than five years.

Former politician Lord Nazir Ahmed was convicted in January of sexually abusing two children when he was a teenager in Rotherham.

The 64-year-old, who quit the House of Lords but retains the title Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, was found guilty of two counts of attempted rape and one of buggery.

A woman told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court that Ahmed attempted to rape her in the early 1970s, when the defendant was about 16 or 17 years old but she was much younger.

Nazir Ahmed arriving at Sheffield Crown Court to be sentenced after being found guilty of sex assaults against two children more than 40 years ago

Ahmed was also found guilty of a serious sexual assault against a boy under 11, also in the early 1970s.

On Friday a judge, Mr Justice Lavender, jailed Ahmed for five years and six months.

He told Ahmed: “Your actions have had profound and lifelong effects on the girl and the boy, who have lived with what you did to them for between 46 and 53 years.

“Their statements express more eloquently than I ever could how your actions have affected their lives in so many different and damaging ways.”

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The victim of the attempted rapes read her own victim personal statement in court, saying: “An overwhelming feeling of shame remained with me throughout my childhood and early adult years.

“It was a burden I was made to carry, and it silenced me for many years.

“It is now time for me to pass that burden to him – the paedophile who I know feels no personal shame.”

She added that Ahmed had however now been “publicly shamed” for his actions.

Ahmed’s two older brothers Mohammed Farouq, 71, and Mohammed Tariq, 66, were also charged with indecent assault in relation to the same boy that Ahmed abused.

Both men were deemed unfit to stand trial, but a jury found that they did the acts alleged.

Farouq and Tariq were both given absolute discharges after the judge said the only other two options – a hospital order or a supervision order – would not be appropriate in this case.

A victim personal statement from the male complainant read in court said being sexually abused by the three men had “affected me on a daily basis” and left him unable to show affection to his own children.

He said: “I buried the abuse and carried it with me on my own for years and years.

“I feel shame because of what these men did to me.

“This is not about revenge, this is about justice.”

In mitigation, Imran Khan QC said Ahmed had “devoted his life to public service” and that his “fall from grace” had been “in the full glare of publicity,” including a campaign for him to be stripped of his title.

Mr Khan said: “That very good reputation he had has gone.”

The judge said that according to legal guidelines, the sentence must be in line with the one that would have been imposed at the time the offence was committed.

He jailed Ahmed for three and a half years for the offence of buggery, and imposed two concurrent sentences of two years for each of the attempted rapes.

Mr Justice Lavender also adjourned the case for six weeks to determine whether Ahmed could pay prosecution costs.

During the trial, the jury was played a recording of a telephone call between the two complainants, made by the woman after she went to the police in 2016.

Tom Little QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the call was prompted by the man contacting the woman by email saying: “I have evidence against that paedophile.”

Former Labour member Ahmed resigned from the House of Lords in November 2020 after reading the contents of a conduct committee report which found he sexually assaulted a vulnerable woman who sought his help.

The report made him the first peer to be recommended for expulsion, but he resigned before this could be implemented.