A DEWSBURY man has been banned from working at Kirklees markets after he was convicted of attempted sexual communication with a teenage girl.
Market trader Mohammed Damaniya, of Thornhill Lees, was arrested last year when he was exposed by online paedophile-hunting group Parents Aligned.
The group recorded a confrontation with Damaniya at Dewsbury Market, where they asked him about explicit messages he had sent to a decoy posing as a 14-year-old girl.
The 53-year-old admitted to sending the ‘girl’ videos demonstrating sex acts and asking her to send him photographs of her breasts. He had also discussed booking a hotel room where he could have sex with the girl and said he wanted to engage in sexual activity with her because she was “pure” and “untouched”.
Damaniya was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years and a sexual harm prevention order was made against him.
Council officers moved to ban Damaniya from the markets after Dewsbury East councillor Aleks Lukic alerted them to his conviction. Coun Lukic said: “Residents were rightly concerned that our markets should be a safe environment for teenage children to shop and socialise.
“In my view the council must have a robust zero tolerance approach to this type of offence, and I hope the quick response in this case gives some reassurance.”
In a statement Coun Rob Walker, cabinet member for culture and environment, said: “As soon as the council became aware of allegations that Mr Damaniya had attempted sexual communication with a child, we acted swiftly to remove his license and ban him from trading at Kirklees markets.
“We’d like to reassure everyone that the safety of children and the general public is a priority and we will continue to act to ensure Kirklees is a safe place to work and live.”