“The defendant was nearly double the age of the child"
Oxford student Shiraaz Kureembokus, aged 27, was jailed for 18 months after being caught out in a police sting operation.
He thought he was speaking to a 14-year-old boy when in actual fact, it was a police officer.
Kureembokus, who is a registered doctoral student, had been messaging the ‘boy’ on Grindr and WhatsApp for sex and invited him to his flat.
Christopher Hewertson, prosecuting, said that when the ‘boy’ told Kureembokus his age, the student responded:
“It’s cool, baby, I’m 27.”
The conversation soon moved from Grindr to WhatsApp.
Initially, Kureembokus asked about school and the teenager’s parents. He then said he wanted to “get kissed, get sucked and more”.
On May 5, 2020, Kureembokus invited the ‘boy’ over to his flat for sex.
Mr Hewertson said: “The defendant was nearly double the age of the child who he arranged to have penetrative sex with.”
Kureembokus was spotted by police outside his home looking for the boy and he was subsequently arrested. He immediately admitted what he had done, saying it was a “moment of madness”.
His defence lawyer, Brid Eve, blamed his actions on “loneliness”.
She explained: “He was finding lockdown particularly hard. He was very lonely and had no friends at the college.
“On that day he made a grave error, he acted in self-gratification and loneliness from what he knew was right and legal. He calls it a moment of madness.
“He has a supportive family who have worked very hard to get him to Oxford.
“He is embarrassed and upset that he risked his future for this. He was suspended by the college and he risks the end of his studies.
“It is utterly devastating for him and those around him and he will find it very difficult to rebuild his life after this.”
Judge Maria Lamb did not accept the claims made by Kureembokus. She said the Oxford student had ruined his future.
She said: “It is quite apparent from that that you were working on the basis that the person you were communicating with was a 14-year-old boy.
“There was frequent reference to the age of the boy and the fact he was at school.
“It is clear what you had in mind, anal and oral sex activity with him. You are a young man who had a very promising career.
“This will have devastating consequences for you and your family. The clang of the cell door rings the loudest at the start.”
Kureembokus was jailed for 18 months. He was also told to sign the sex offenders’ register.
A spokesperson for the University of Oxford told Metro:
“We are shocked by the actions of Shiraaz Kureembokus which resulted in his conviction and sentencing.
“Shiraaz Kureembokus was a registered doctoral student and had not yet begun his research work.
“The Department of Education is deeply committed to the well-being and safeguarding of children and all necessary checks are undertaken before any of our students work in schools or with children in other settings.”