A “PREDATORY” man “saw no harm” in sexually assaulting a teenager from a different ethnic background, a court was told.

Abdul Mehri, aged 25, attacked the girl because he did not think it would transgress his religious beliefs, Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday.

And sending him to prison for six months Judge Steven Everett said: “It is clear to me you were prepared to lie through your back teeth to prevent the jury from rightly convicting you.

“This incident had a profound effect on her.

She found the experience very troubling and describes how upset and disgusted she was by what happened.

“She was not from your ethnic background.

I am quite sure you have a hypocritical view of sexual matters, and, while you would not be prepared to sexually assault someone from your own background, you saw no harm at all in sexually approaching this young girl because she was of a different background.”

Mehri denied sexual assault, but was convicted by a jury after a trial.

The court heard that the 16-year-old girl, who had only met Mehri once before, was putting make-up on in a bathroom when he came in on January 17 last year.

He tried to put his hands down her leggings but she managed to move away and he repeatedly asked her to perform a sex act on him.

The court heard that the offence committed by Mehri would not normally result in a jail sentence. However, Mehri was described as being both predatory and opportunistic.

Judge Everett added: “You saw your victim as an easy target and a way to fulfill your sexual needs without transgressing your religious beliefs. That is patently obvious to me.

“This was arrogant behaviour of someone who believed that if she made a complaint that no-one would believe her. The message must go out to you and others like you that if you take advantage of young women in this way you will go to prison.”

The judge also recommended that Mehri, of Tildsley Street, Daubhill, should be deported to Afghanistan, where he is originally from. He moved to this country in 2005.