Monday, August 31, 2015

Worker at Bradford mosque in court accused of sexually abusing two young boys

A WORKER at a Bradford mosque is on trial accused of the repeated sexual abuse of two young boys aged nine and 12.
Yasir Muhammed Hafiz denies a total of 16 charges, including nine of sexually assaulting a child under 13 and seven of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Hafiz, 31, of Daleside Walk, West Bowling, Bradford, is alleged to have hugged and tickled the boys in a sexual manner, kissed one of them, and put their hands on his private parts.
Prosecutor Michael Collins told the jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday that they will hear recorded police interviews with three boys, the two complainants and a third child.
Bearded Hafiz, who teaches the Koran at the Madrassah Nur Qur'an, on Parkside Road, West Bowling, is assisted in the dock by an interpreter because English is not his first language.
Mr Collins said the alleged offences took place between January 1, 2014, and February 13 this year.
The nine-year-old says that Hafiz sexually abused him on five separate occasions.
He told his mother he had done "dirty" things to him.
He alleged Hafiz picked him up, hugged him, gripped him under the arms and kissed him on the cheek.
The child said Hafiz put his hand down his trousers on to his boxer shorts and touched his bottom.
He complained that Hafiz molested him on February 13 and did similar things to him four times before that but only kissed him once.
The boy accused Hafiz of taking his hand and making him touch his private parts over his clothing.
"He tried to resist but his knuckles came into contact with his penis," Mr Collins said.
He said the abuse lasted about 20 seconds until he was disturbed.
The jury heard that the second boy was 12 at the time.
He alleges he too was picked up by Hafiz and hugged and tickled in a sexual manner.
"He pulled up his top and tickled his torso and back," Mr Collins said.
Hafiz is also accused of putting the child's hand between his legs.
The court heard that the younger boy told his mother what was happening. She spoke to the second boy's mum and her son then also alleged he was being abused.
Hafiz told the police he had carried the boys but he denied any sexual misconduct with them.
Mr Collins said the issues for the jury to decide were if Hafiz had touched the children sexually and had he caused either or both of them to touch him indecently.
The nine-year-old boy said on his video that Hafiz had been "very dirty to me."

Trial of mosque worker accused of sexually molesting two boys collapses

THE TRIAL of a mosque worker accused of sexually molesting two young boys collapsed yesterday because of difficulties interpreting the evidence.
Yasir Muhammed Hafiz, 31, of Daleside Walk, West Bowling, Bradford, had pleaded not guilty to nine charges of sexually assaulting a child under 13, and seven of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Judge Jonathan Rose, following discussions with the prosecution and defence barristers in the absence of the jury at Bradford Crown Court, yesterday discharged them because misinterpretations of the defendant’s evidence had made the trial unfair.
Judge Rose told the jury: “This is a man of good character, facing very serious charges. If he was convicted the penalties would be substantial. I cannot take a risk with the reputation and liberty of a man if there is something not right about the evidence.”
An interpreter had been translating the evidence to Mr Hafiz, and his evidence to the jury, in an uncommon dialect which the defendant used. But a member of the jury, who was familiar with the dialect, had raised concerns with the judge about the translation of the defendant’s evidence.
Judge Rose said it was not a criticism of the interpreter, but there were significant difficulties with the dialect.
He told the jury: “I am not satisfied that what the defendant has been trying to convey to you in his evidence has accurately been conveyed.”
Judge Rose added: “This is not the end of the case, and there is every prospect this trial will take place in the future when these matters have been resolved.”
He gave the prosecution 21 days to indicate whether they would retry the matter and fixed a provisional new trial date for February next year.
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The prosecution had claimed Mr Hafiz, a worker at the Madrassah Nur Qur’an mosque in Parkside Road, West Bowling, had sexually abused two boys, aged nine and 12, between January 1, 2014, and February 13 this year.
Prosecutor Michael Collins alleged the defendant had hugged and tickled the boys in a sexual manner, kissed one of them and put their hands on his private parts.
Mr Hafiz denied any sexual misconduct when interviewed by the police.
Giving evidence to the jury, he said an accusation that he had taken the nine-year-old’s hand and tried to put it on his private parts was a lie. He also denied putting his hand under the boy’s bottom, and said he had never tickled the older boy under his top, nipped him, or tried to put the boy’s hand on his penis.

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