Chelmsford suspected paedophile sought in Mauritius after he failed to turn up to court
A WARRANT was issued for the arrest of a suspected paedophile after he failed to fly into the UK from Mauritius.
Kooshal Seetul, 33, had been living in Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, when he was charged with attempting to communicate with someone, who he believed was a 13-year-old girl, to try to get her to engage in sex acts.
The alleged offending took place between May 23 and June 6 2017.
The arrest followed an undercover child sex grooming operation by Essex Police, where officers posed as underage children online.
Adam Squibbs, defending Seetul, argued he was not an absconder and he was only not there because no flights had been available due to travel restrictions.
He said Seetul had to return to the UK because his visa expires in late 2018, and he has previously travelled from there to the UK in connection with the case.
OVEREGGED: Lawyer Adam Squibbs (pictured) said seriousness of the offence was exaggerated (Linkedin)
Mr Squibbs even downplayed the seriousness of the alleged grooming offence, saying the prosecution was "overegging" it and in similar cases people have been sentenced to a sex month suspended jail sentence.
He argued it would be unfair to issue a warrant for his arrest as the case has been dragged on from three years, in which time his visa expired and he had to return home.
Arfan Ahmed, prosecuting, said: "He is not here and he has been told to be here.
This is a serious offence where an undercover police officer assumes the identity of child and was groomed by the defendant.
"There is no good reason why he is not here in my submission."
Magistrates at Westminster Magistrates' Court (pictured above) issued a warrant for his arrest on Tuesday.