Imran Ahmad Khan, 48, arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London this morning
A Conservative MP accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy told a court today that the teenager became upset and ‘bolted’ from a bedroom when the topic of pornography was raised.
Imran Ahmad Khan, 48, said he was trying to be ‘kind’ and ‘helpful’ when discussing sexuality with the boy, who he said appeared ’troubled’.
The politician, who was elected as the MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire in 2019, denies sexually assaulting the teenager in a bunkbed at a house in Staffordshire in January 2008.
He said he had been engaged in a ‘philosophical’ discussion about sexuality with the boy during the course of the evening, but rejected any suggestion it was sexual.
Asked at Southwark Crown Court in London today whether he had any agenda in speaking about sexuality, he said: ‘No, absolutely not.Not at all. I was just trying to be kind and helpful to a young man who wanted to talk.
‘He seemed very keen to want to talk about this (sexuality). I think it would have been rude or perhaps a tad cruel to shut him down.’
The trial has heard that Khan allegedly forced the youngster to drink gin, dragged him upstairs and asked him to watch pornography before touching his feet and legs, coming within a ‘hair’s breadth’ of his genitals.
Imran Ahmad Khan was elected as the Tory MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire in 2019
The MP, who is gay and a Muslim, claims he only touched the Catholic teenager’s elbow when the boy ‘became extremely upset’ after a conversation about his confused sexuality.
Giving evidence today, Khan became choked up at points and wiped his eyes as he told of his distress over the allegations.
He said: ‘This whole thing was simply me trying to be kind and helpful to somebody who I think was a troubled young man.’
Khan, who wore a light-coloured suit and light pink shirt, said he had referenced pornography at the end of the evening when standing in the bedroom while the boy sat up in the bed.
The MP said he made a comment as a way of advising the boy ’that may be a way to find out where your attraction lay’.
He said that ‘seemed to have triggered something in him’ and that the teenager became ‘very upset’ and ‘bolted out’.
Khan said: ‘I placed my hand either on his elbow or his arm to placate him.’
He said the touch had been ‘momentary’ and he had used words to the effect of ‘don’t worry, porn big ass it will all be OK, everything will sort itself out’.
At Southwark Crown Court in London (file picture), Khan denies sexually assaulting a teenager
Asked by defence barrister Gudrun Young QC if he had felt the teenage boy’s feet, up his legs or towards his groin area, Khan replied that he had not.
He said he had been ‘utterly astonished’ to hear allegations that he had dragged the boy up the stairs, saying: ‘I just don’t know where he is coming from…or why he is making it up.’
Asked about who was drinking or serving drinks at the house, Khan said: ‘I would have offered and poured drinks for everyone who asked for one.’
The MP said he was not drunk on the evening in question, adding: ‘I think we were all probably a little merry.’
The trial has heard that the alleged victim was ‘scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked, surprised’ by the incident.
The complainant, now 29, previously told the court: ‘When he got to my groin and was about to touch my testicles it was sheer panic.’
He said he ‘froze’, adding: ‘I freaked out and jumped out of the bed and ran as fast as I could.’
The jury has been told of a different allegation against Khan, which is not part of the charge they are trying him on, whereby the MP is said to have sexually assaulted a man in his sleep in Pakistan after a party.
The alleged victim said he had reported the incident to the British High Commission and the Foreign Office but did not want to go to police in Pakistan because of Khan’s ‘powerful connections’ in the military and government.
He came forward as a witness after hearing Khan had been charged with sexual assault, the court heard.
But Khan insisted sexual contact between him and the complainant in November 2010 had been consensual.
Khan said the morning after, when he attempted to perform a sex act again, the man told him: ‘Stop, no.’
He said he ‘immediately’ stopped and that the man appeared ‘upset, regretful and ashamed’ about what had happened.
‘I think there was a great deal of embarrassment,’ he added.
Asked how he felt being in court, accused of sexual assault, Khan said: ‘It is hellish, it is a nightmare.’