Quran teacher, Mohammed Haji Saddique (81 yrs), is jailed for 13 years after carrying out sex attacks on four girls during lessons in a mosque. This ‘dark and deviant’ so called Koran teacher would call the pupils to sit next to him and read in Arabic from the Quran (Koran), Muslim holy book.
Mohammed Haji Sadiq, 81, targeted the girls; sexually touched girls aged between five and eleven during Koran classes and slapped students repeatedly if they made mistakes during lessons.
Saddique, who taught at the Madina mosque in Cardiff for more than 30 years, was convicted of the offences following a trial. Classes took place four times a week after school and pupils referred to the imam as “Uncle Saddique” as a mark of respect. A jury found him guilty of 14 offences – six indecent assaults and eight sexual assaults – that took place between 1996 and 2006. Cardiff Crown Court heard Saddique had metal and wooden sticks, which he used to poke the children as they studied.
Police first launched an investigation in 2006 following complaints by two girls but Saddique denied any wrongdoing. The investigation was restarted in 2016 after two other girls came forward. Saddique would touch the girls under their traditional loose-fitting clothing during his lessons, and rub them against his groin and legs.
Judge Stephen Hopkins QC jailed Saddique for 13 years and ordered him to register as a sex offender indefinitely.
“All four complainants were very brave indeed in overcoming not only personal but cultural barriers which they faced in making formal complaints and giving evidence against you,” the judge said. “There is a darker, deviant side to you which this trial has exposed. This was a gross breach of trust – parents sending their young, female children to be taught the Quran by you.”
The court heard Saddique was born in Hong Kong and moved to Pakistan before coming to the UK in 1967, eventually settling in Cardiff. He was a member of the Madina mosque and was involved in running it, including as a treasurer and teaching Qur’an studies to primary school pupils.
In victim impact statements read to the court, the girls, now in their 20s, spoke of the lasting impact of Saddique’s offending.
Speaking of one, the judge said: “It has put her off religion. She deliberately doesn’t own a Qur’an. [For her] the ethos of going to the mosque at any time is that when you are there, God is protecting you. Her idea was shattered because you abused her when she was reading from the holy book.”
Another victim said giving evidence went against “the culture and ethos of those who follow the Islamic faith” and she feared there would be consequences for Saddique’s conviction.
The judge also made Saddique the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.
DCI Rob Cronick, of South Wales police praised the “immense courage” of the victims who came forward, said: “As a result of the verdict and today’s sentence I believe there may be members of the community who may now feel confident enough to speak to the police or our support agencies.”
A spokesman for the children’s charity NSPCC said: “This was an appalling breach of trust and Saddique has rightly received a significant prison sentence for these heinous offences.”
Source: BBC news