The trial of a restaurant owner who denies running a brothel from his Carlisle takeaway has begun. Carlisle Crown court has heard that Azad Miah is pleading not guilty to 17 offences, some involving girls as young as 12.
The 44 year old ran the former Spice of India takeaway on Botchergate until his arrest. The business has since changed management and name. A jury of six men and six women have been sworn in.
On the first day the jury heard how the restaurant owner allegedly preyed on vulnerable young girls by providing them with money, drugs and drink in exchange for sex.The prosecution against 44 year old Azad Miah has alleged he deliberately targetted girls with drug habits or who were in trouble with the police.One girl who he is alleged to have enticed into prostitution aged 14 had been a heroin user since the age of 12.Miah faces a total of 17 charges over a six year period from January 2005 to March 2011 relating to seven girls aged between 12 and 16 at the time.One of the allegations is that he ran a brothel from the Spice of India take away that he owned on Botchergate in Carlisle. The business is now under different ownership and has since changed its name. Miah is denys all the charges.Our reporter Matthew Taylor was at the trial at Carlisle Crown Court and sent this report.