A HUDDERSFIELD man, who groomed a 14-year-old girl and then travelled to Croydon to meet her and assaulted her in a hotel room has been spared jail.
Atif Siddique, 24, of Bulay Road, Thornton Lodge, told the girl before arranging an illicit rendezvous that he was only four years older than her.
He denied, but was convicted of sexual assault, and was fined £185, with £400 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
However, Siddique, currently being held by the UK Border Agency, was allowed to serve one day in custody as an alternative.
He was convicted at Croydon Magistrates' Court of sexually assaulting the girl between May 5 and June 30, last year.
Denying he was telling the court “a pack of lies” Siddique insisted his intentions towards the girl were honourable and he intended to marry her when she turned 18.
He told police after his arrest: “She told me she was 15 years-old, but I was not confident about that. We kissed and cuddled in the hotel. It was a mutual thing.”
Siddique encouraged the victim to skip school and travelled down to Croydon on three previous occasions for dates, including a trip to the cinema.
After meeting him face-to-face the girl did not believe he was telling the truth about his age and Siddique confessed he was 24.
They had previously communicated online on Skype.
“I booked the hotel at her request,” he told the court. “If I knew kissing and cuddling was a crime I wouldn’t have done it.”
They spent three hours in the hotel room and the victim told the court she and Siddique “french kissed and cuddled.”
Siddique was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders register for five years.