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Sex offender convicted of historic crimes
A FORMER club singer with a history of convictions for sex offences has been convicted of two more attacks on young girls.
Michael Khannan, also known by the stage name Preston, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in 2010 after being convicted of attempting to rape an 18-year-old woman after dragging her away from a bus stop in Peterlee in 1978.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how media reports of that trial led to two further victims coming forward to reveal they had been abused by Khannan in South Shields in the 1990s.
Yesterday, the 61-year-old was convicted of 15 counts of indecent assault and indecency with a child against the girls following a week-long trial.
Judge Paul Sloan QC adjourned sentence until next month but warned Khannan: "You will appreciate you face a substantial prison sentence."
During the trial, jurors heard details of Khannan's string of attacks including a 1972 indecent assault on a 14-year-old girl who he dragged onto a railway embankment in South Shields and an attack later that same year in which a 16-year-old girl was dragged into a back lane in South Shields and was also indecently assaulted.
Prosecutor Tim Gittins told the court Khannan had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to rape an 18-year-old girl in Tanfield Lea, County Durham, in 1977 and was also convicted of the Peterlee attack and gross indecency with a nine-year-old girl in South Shields in 1999.
Mr Gittins told jurors: "The crown say these are factors which demonstrate this defendant has a propensity, a tendency, to commit serious sexual offences, particularly upon younger women and girls, of the type that these two ladies complain about".
Khannan did not give evidence in his own defence during the trial and did not react when the jury foreman read out the 15 guilty verdicts.
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