AN ASYLUM seeker has been jailed and is facing deportation after he carried out a sex attack on a vulnerable young girl in the shop where he worked.
Pervert Gowritharan Markandu, 47, molested the girl in a convenience store in Hartlepool.
The frightened youngster tried to call her mum for help on her mobile phone, but Markandu cancelled the phone call.
Markandu, also known by the alias Marka Dowridhar, was locked up for three years when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court.
He had denied the shocking attack until DNA evidence proved the youngster was telling the truth.
Describing the attack, Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said: “She told him she wanted to go home.
“She used her mobile phone to call her mother, but he prevented that call from actually being made by her.”
The court heard the victim had only gone into the shop for some milk.
Her ordeal came to an end when a customer walked into the shop.
The victim then told her mum what had happened and police quickly arrested Markandu.
The court was told Markandu came to Britain after fleeing Tamil Tiger militants in Sri Lanka where he had previously worked as a policeman.
Graham O’Sullivan, mitigating, said: “This was an isolated incident committed by an isolated individual.
“He is remorseful for what he has done and the distress he has caused.”
The court heard he is likely to be deported back to the country after he has served his prison sentence.
Markandu, of no fixed abode, admitted sexual assault of a child and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Judge Peter Bowers said: “This was an extremely grave and disgusting offence.
“You used a degree of coercion and then ignored her distress.
“You or I have no idea how much damage you have done to her by exposing her to such activity.
“You denied the offence until it became impossible to defend it. Thus, any credit for a guilty plea is limited.”
Markandu’s name will also be added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.