Paedophile ice cream man made girl, 14, perform sex act on him ‘for free treats’

A paedophile ice cream man who used free treats to entice a child into performing sex acts on him has been jailed.

Arthur Malaj, 37, was working as an ice cream vendor at Piece Hall, in Halifax, West Yorks., when he persuaded the teen to perform sex acts on him in its bathrooms at least three times.

Yesterday, November 29, he was given a three-and-half-year sentence after a jury found him guilty of causing a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

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Recorder Simon Kealey KC said Malaj dished out free ice cream to his victim and had given back more change than necessary before discussing sexual topics back 2011 when Malaj was in his mid-20s.

But the married man’s crimes were not reported to the police until 2018.

When Malaj was finally interviewed, he denied knowing his victim.

Recorder Kealey said it was absolutely clear from her impact statement that the abuse his victim suffered had a very significant effect on her.

He told Malaj over a prison video link to HMP Leeds: “In my judgement, there was an element of grooming.”

But he said he took into account the fact that Malaj had no previous convictions and there had been no further offending for more than a decade.

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The court heard the defendant was set to be sentenced in August, but his barrister Danielle Graham said he had “panicked” when it all became too much for him.

He then went on the run and was wanted by police on a warrant for almost a month.

However, prosecuting barrister Michael Smith submitted it had been a deliberate attempt to delay justice by effectively walking out of the sentencing hearing.

Malaj, of Range Lane, Halifax, will now have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.

He will also be subject to an indefinite restraining order that prevents him from having any contact with the complainant in the future.

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