Dewsbury man on sex offender list banned from town's markets

Mohammed Damaniya was exposed last year by an online paedophile hunting group.
Mohammed Damaniya was exposed last year by an online paedophile hunting group.

A council has banned a man from its markets following his conviction for attempted sexual communication with a child.

Mohammed Damaniya, 53, who was exposed last year by an online paedophile hunting group, has been excluded from trading at markets in Kirklees.

It follows concern from residents in Dewsbury that he was continuing to run a stall in the town’s market despite his conviction.

Council officers moved to ban Mr Damaniya from markets in the borough after being alerted by Coun Aleks Lukic (Dewsbury Borough Ind, Dewsbury East).

Sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on June 5, Damaniya received 24 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years as well as a seven-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which bans him from deleting his internet browsing history.

He will also have to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

He was charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child having sent her a picture of a penis, links to pornographic videos and discussed how he would “take her virginity” when she reached the age of 18.

Damaniya, whose address was given in court as Olympia Gardens, Thornhill Lees, was arrested last year after he was exposed by the online paedophile hunting group Parents Aligned.

At Dewsbury Market the group recorded a confrontation with Damaniya where they described explicit messages he had sent to a decoy posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Referencing the court case Coun Lukic said Damaniya admitted to sending the “girl” videos demonstrating different 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 saying he wanted to engage in sexual activity with her because she was “pure” and “untouched”.

Speaking after the council acted on his concerns 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.”

Coun Rob Walker, Kirklees Council’s 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 licence 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.”