Shopkeeper placed on the sex offenders register

Mohammed Ahmed.
Mohammed Ahmed.

A Dalkeith shopkeeper who asked a schoolboy if he was off to watch porn with his two female cousins has been placed on the sex offenders register.

Mohammed Ahmed was behind the counter of his shop when he also told the “confused” lad to wear a condom if he was having sex with the girls.

Ahmed made the disgusting comments when the ten-year-old boy and his two 12-year-old cousins went to spend their pocket money at the Premier Store, in Dalkeith, Midlothian.

Despite the boy’s confusion, the two girls told their parents what Ahmed (39), had said to them and the police were soon called in.

Ahmed, from Polwarth, Edinburgh, admitted an amended charge of directing sexual verbal remarks to the boy at his store when he appeared in the dock at the capital’s sheriff court on Tuesday (August 15).

Sheriff Frank Crowe placed the shop owner on the sex register for the next six months and also handed out a supervision order in a bid to address his offending.

The court heard the ten-year-old boy attended the shop with his two female cousins on November 4 last year.

Fiscal depute Anna Robertson said: “The children entered the store and the boy was ten at the time. He entered with his two 12-year-old cousins and they were planning on spending their pocket money.

“The accused was behind the counter and asked what’s he was doing with the girls. The boy said they were on a sleepover and were about to watch a movie.

“The accused responded by saying ‘Is that porn?’ The boy did not know what porn was and looked confused.

“The accused then told the boy to ‘always practice safe sex’ as he was leaving the shop.”

The girl’s then informed their parents and the police attended at Ahmed’s shop a short time later.

Solicitor Joe Boyd, defending, said his client had engaged in “some sort of banter with the children” and there had been “no planning” to the comments.

Mr Boyd added: “It was an attempt at a form of banter that spectacularly backfired.”

Sheriff Crowe said: “I accept you have admitted this offence but it was an ill-conceived attempt at humour which confused the young child and offended those who were with him.”