LONDON: A UK court today dropped a case of “sexual grooming” against an Indian-origin British journalist and columnist Hasan Suroor for lack of evidence and declared him not guilty.
Mr Suroor, who was arrested by British Transport Police (BTP) last November after an anti-paedophile sting operation in London, is now planning to sue the vigilante group, Unknown TV, behind the sting for damages.
“Following a further review of the case there is now no longer a realistic prospect of conviction,” the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Blackfriars Crown Court in a written submission today.
The judge ruled that he had decided to return an “unequivocal verdict of not guilty”.
A written order declaring Mr Suroor innocent is to be issued on June 24 along with a ruling on his application for his legal costs to be reimbursed.
Mr Suroor’s lawyer Paul Mason said: “The robust stand we took has paid off.”
The CPS is yet to officially comment on the case.
Mr Suroor had been caught on camera as he was confronted by members of Unknown TV, organisers of the sting operation who alleged he was waiting for a 14-year-old girl.
A member of the anti-paedophile vigilante group had allegedly posed as a 14-year-old and allegedly solicited Mr Suroor on social media.
Groups such as Unknown TV pose as minors on dating and social networking sites in an attempt to catch adult men who solicit sex with minors.