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Attempted murder: Shap

A man from Shap is due to appear in court this morning after being charged with attempted murder.

John Lowis, 44, from Shap in Cumbria was charged with attempt murder on Monday 13th August.

He'll appear before magistrates in Carlisle on Tuesday 14th August.

The charge follows an incident that was reported to police just before midnight on Sunday 12 August that occurred on Jackson Lane, Shap where a 52 year old man from Shap suffered head and facial injuries.

The victim remains in Cumberland Infirmary Carlisle where he is receiving treatment.

Shafilea Ahmed's father 'breaks down' amid fresh allegations in murder trial

The father of Shafilea Ahmed broke down in court today - facing fresh allegations in his trial, accused of murdering his daughter.

Shafilea's body was discovered close to a river in Cumbria. Throughout the eight week trial so far Iftikhar Ahmed has denied murder, along with his wife Farzana Ahmed.

Yesterday though Mrs Ahmed changed her defence - she now claims that she saw her husband beat Shafilea on the night of the alleged murder.

Anne O'Connor is at the trial at Chester Crown Court.


Charity Barnardo's says the system is letting victims of sexual exploitation down

It is thought police will respond after tomorrow's sentencing to the question of why Miah was not investigated earlier. Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said:

"We believe thousands of hidden victims of child sexual exploitation are still being let down by the system.

Cases are dropped because of insufficient evidence or an over reliance of victims to act as witnesses

We need to see drastic changes to make sure the abusers who control such vulnerable children for sex and personal gain do not get away with it."

Out of the 137 police investigations the children's charity knew about involving their "service users", only 24 resulted in convictions.

District crown prosecutor for the North West, Linda Vance, said:

"I would urge anyone who has been a victim of any sexual offence not to suffer in silence but to speak to police so they can investigate.

At the CPS we have specialist rape prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offences cases and we will work with the police and the courts to ensure that victims are given the best possible support throughout the progress of the case."

Youngest victim says her complaints against Miah were ignored by police

One of Azad Miah's under-age victims complained to the police about him three years before his eventual arrest, his trial heard.

His youngest victim, aged 12, said she gave up talking to the police about the takeaway owner pestering her for sex in exchange for cash because nothing was being done.

In the wake of Miah's arrest in 2011 she was asked at the start of her police interview if she knew why she was being questioned. Tellingly, she replied:

"Because of something that happened three years ago and now youse have finally decided to do summat about it. The police never done anything about it so I just stopped complaining in the end.

Under cross-examination at Carlisle Crown Court, she was told there was no record of any of her supposed complaints. Barrister Stephan Meadowcroft QC said "The police keep careful records."

Behind a screen in court, she replied: "So they should but they didn't."


Inside Carlisle court

Azad Miah treated his arrest as "a joke" and showed contempt for the girls who accused him, police said.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Christy Robertson recalled his "arrogant" and "disrespectful" demeanour when she interviewed him.

The 44-year-old takeaway boss was arrested at Coral bookmakers, just yards away from his former Spice of India restaurant in Botchergate, Carlisle. DC Robertson said:

"I would say that he showed contempt for the girls, he was dismissive of them. He was disrespectful to me. If I challenged him in any way then he was across the table with fingers (pointing) in my face. I think that he thought it was a joke to him."

She said he displayed the same lack of compassion to his victims in the lengthy police interviews as when he entered the witness box in his trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

"I do not think he feels he has done anything wrong. I think he feels he is the victim."

Man guilty of child sex offences

Azad Miah Credit: ITV News

A takeaway boss has been convicted of attempting to recruit four girls aged 12 to 16 into prostitution.

Azad Miah, 44, hounded and stalked the girls to have sex for money while at the same time running a brothel from his city centre premises in Carlisle.

The married father-of-four was also found guilty of paying for the sexual services of two teenage girls.

His trial at Carlisle Crown Court heard that one of his victims complained to police about him persistently harassing her in 2008, three years before his arrest.

During that time he continued his pattern of behaviour in what the prosecution described as a "cold, clinical exploitation of the desperate and vulnerable".

His mode of operation was to target girls and women who he thought would rather have sex for money than risk jail by stealing to feed addictions to drugs or drink.

The Bangladeshi former owner of the Spice of India restaurant was found guilty of inciting four girls into child prostitution between 2007 and 2011. He was cleared of the same allegation against two other girls.

Miah was also convicted by the jury of paying for the sexual services of two girls between 2006 and 2009, and one count of keeping a brothel between 2005 and 2011

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