Officer sacked for not challenging paedophile.
Bahmani Ahmadi was branded one of the UK's 'most dangerous' sex predators after he was jailed for a string of sexual offences against girls as young as 11.
But it emerged in court that police missed a vital opportunity to snare him in 2012, leaving him free to roam the streets and abuse girls for two more years before he was eventually arrested.
We can reveal that the officer who failed to examine Ahmadi's mobile phone, which would have shown he was grooming girls for sex, has been sacked by Northumbria Police.
Details of the dismissal can be made public for the first time after a court order preventing the publication of all cases linked to the Operation Sanctuary investigations was lifted.
Bahmani Northumbria's Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: "It was grossly incompetent. If we don't look for this abuse we aren't going to find it. He was grossly negligent in his duties and he was dismissed."
Ahmadi, from Benwell, Newcastle, was arrested in June 2012 when the first of his young victims came forward.
But the police officer dealing with the complaint did not examine his mobile or refer the case to the CPS and he was released with no further action.
Had the device been examined it could have revealed that the then 23-year-old was actively grooming young girls for sex.
And, by the time Ahmadi was arrested again in 2014 he had gone on to commit sex offences against more than 10 vulnerable girls, some as young as 11 Ahmadi, of Hampstead Road, pleaded guilty to 18 charges at Newcastle Crown Court in 2015.
The offences included two counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old, in relation to his 2012 victim, two counts of sexual assault on two child victims, two counts of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
He also pleaded guilty to inciting a girl of 17 into prostitution, five counts of inciting children under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and five counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity where the victims were 13 to 16.
The court heard how Ahmadi had posed as a 14-year-old girl on Facebook to pursue his vulnerable victims and then offer them money for sex.
He also organised and paid for taxis to transport some of the girls to his home.
Ahmadi was finally caught after he came back to the attention of detectives following the launch of Operation Sanctuary in 2014. He was arrested in a police sting when officers posed as a young girl called Chelsea, on Facebook, and arranged a meeting.
This time police did seize his phone.
Amanda Ripon, prosecuting, said: "There was renewed interest in the defendant, which resulted in the initial allegations being looked at again and, this time, the mobile phone seized was recovered and examined. A significant amount of data was recovered, including sexual messages to the first complainant."
Ahmadi " After the case, Det Supt Steve Barron, who heads up the Sanctuary investigations said: "Bahmani Ahmadi is a dangerous predatory paedophile. He deliberately targeted vulnerable young girls through multiple Facebook accounts using a false female identity in order to groom them.
"He often supplied the girls with alcohol and then committed dreadful sexual crimes against them. The volume of his offending, which I believe has gone on for several years, makes him one of the most dangerous sexual offenders I have come across."
Ahmadi was originally jailed for just four and a half years. But judges at London's Appeal Court extended the prison term by two years after ruling the sentence passed at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this year was ruled "unduly lenient".
Following the investigation a police misconduct hearing was held and the officer behind the original blunder was sacked.
Chief Cons Ashman added: "When we have reviewed our misconduct with Ahmadi it was apparent an officer had not done as he should have to such a scale that he was dismissed."