London, March 7:Â A controversial former Labour party councillor of Indian-origin in the UK has been penalised for sexual assault and pestering two schoolgirls for sex.
40-year-old Manish Sood, who had courted controversy by describing Gordon Brown as the “worst” prime minister in history ahead of the 2010 general election, admitted the offences in the Leicester Crown Court, and has been given a three-year community order with supervision.
He must attend a sex offender group work programme.
He was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order banning unsupervised contact with children under 16 and restrictions placed on his computer use, according to a report in the ‘Leicester Mercury’, a leading local daily.
During the hearing, the court was told that on February 6 last year Manish phoned one of the teenage victims after she posted an advert on the Gumtree website seeking a part-time job.
The girl complained to a 15-year-old friend at school, who rang Manish and told him to leave her friend alone.
But Sood then directed his attention to the friend, asking if she was interested in “therapy”, and sending 26 texts and phoning 152 times in three days, suggesting she visit for “physical tantra”, according to the report.
Manish was then reported to the police, and when he was arrested, he accepted he had “sexual motives” towards the schoolgirls and claimed his medication made him “forgetful”.
Manish admitted in court to causing or inciting the two teenagers to engage in sexual activity, and to sexually assaulting the 22-year-old.
Judge Michael Pert said it’s “conduct of a dirty old man, and you’re not even old”.
Robert Underwood, lawyer for Manish, said he began suffering mental health difficulties in 2008, starting with thoughts someone was out to kill him. He has received psychiatric treatment and is on medication.
Sood is the son of Manjula Sood, who was the first Asian woman to become the first Lord Mayor in the UK when she assumed the post in Leicester in 2008. She is currently a councillor in Leicester.
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