Trusted imam jailed for sexually assaulting four girls as they studied Koran
PA/GETTY Mohammed Saddique has been jailed for 13 years for touching four girls
Mohammed Haji Saddique, 81, called children to sit by him and read in Arabic from the Muslim holy book.
He assaulted girls in front of the class and slapped pupils repeatedly if they made mistakes in lessons.
Cardiff Crown Court heard he had metal and wooden sticks to poke the students as they studied.
Saddique, of Cyncoed, Cardiff who taught at the Madina Mosque in the city for more than 30 years, was convicted of the offences after a trial.
A jury found him guilty of 14 offences – six indecent assaults and eight sexual assaults – between 1996 and 2006.
As well as the prison term, judge Stephen Hopkins QC yesterday 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 Koran by you.”
In statements read to the court, the girls, now in their 20s, spoke of the impact of Saddique’s offending.
Speaking of one, the judge said: “It has put her off religion, she deliberately doesn’t own a Koran.”
Saddique, who said the allegations were a plot by members of the mosque, has “no idea” of the harm caused, the judge said.
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 involved in running the Madina Mosque, including as a treasurer. Police launched an investigation in 2006 after complaints by two girls.
The investigation was restarted in 2016 after two others came forward.
Defending, Caroline Rees described Saddique as a “frail and unwell” greatgrandfather who was held in high esteem by his family and community.
Pedophile Koran teacher sentenced to 13 years
A Koran teacher at a Welsh mosque has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a string of child sex offences
The man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for sexual offences.
We reported on this story back in June and support the judge’s sentence if anything its a bit too short.
Mohammed Sadiq, has been convicted of 6 accounts of indecent assault and eight counts of sexual assault on a child under 13
The mainstream media seemed to have buried this story, but I think those at Westmonster for bringing this story to light.
An 81-year olf Imam has been convicted of sexually assaulting young girls as he taught them the Koran.
The offences took place between 1996 and 2006.
Following the verdict Mike Jenkin, from the CPS, said: “These women have shown remarkable courage in coming forward to speak about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Mohammed Haj Sadiq when they were young girls.
“Sadiq was a respected figure in the community with considerable influence and power which makes the bravery of his victims all the more admirable.
“The evidence given by these women meant the prosecution was able to present a compelling case to the jury, resulting in the guilty verdicts returned today.”
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Cronick of South Wales Police said: “Mohammed Sadiq abused his position of trust within the community he served.
“Today’s verdict shows the magnitude of Sadiq’s offending and the devastating effect this has had on his victims.
“These four young women have shown immense courage in coming forward and telling us about the abuse they suffered and enduring the further anguish of a crown court trial.
“As a result of today’s verdict I believe there may be members of the community who may now feel confident enough to speak to the police or our support agencies.
“Anyone with any information concerning this matter or who may have any other concerns should call a dedicated NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 where specially trained staff will talk to you and offer support.
“Alternatively you can call South Wales Police on 101 quoting the reference: 1600442164.
“Investigating sexual violence is a priority of South Wales Police and may I provide reassurance that all allegations of non-recent sexual abuse will be investigated.
“There are also a number of support agencies available to anyone who wishes them to be their point of contact if they have any concerns. South Wales Police can sign post victims directly to them.
“Our priority is to keep victims, and potential victims safe. We are committed to helping the vulnerable and have dedicated teams to help and support anyone who may have been affected by this investigation or any other circumstance.”