Cardiff Koran teacher jailed for child sex abuse

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    Mohammed Haji SadiqImage copyright Wales News Service
    Image caption Mohammed Haji Sadiq had denied committing 15 child sex offences over a 10-year period

    An 81-year-old former Koran teacher who was convicted of a string of child sex offences has been jailed for 13 years.

    Mohammed Haji Sadiq taught for 30 years at Cardiff’s Madina mosque and abused four girls as a form of punishment.

    He was found guilty of eight sexual assaults on a child under 13 by touching, and six indecent assaults after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

    The court heard Sadiq, of Cyncoed, “took advantage of his position”.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionBeing abused by paedophile Koran teacher Mohammed Haji Sadiq ‘felt normal eventually’, says victim

    He had denied the charges involving four girls aged between five and 11 and blamed “politics” in the mosque for the accusations.

    But sentencing him, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC told Sadiq: “You are a man in my judgement of some cunning.”

    Sadiq sexually assaulted two girls under the age of under 13 by touching, and indecently assaulted two other girls over a decade between 1996 and 2006 at the Woodville Road mosque.

    He abused them if they made a mistake while reciting the Koran and would use a stick as a form of punishment in class, hitting people over the hand or hard on the back.

    Some of his victims said they were afraid to attend the mosque because of his abuse.

    One said she had attempted to take her own life because of the abuse.

    In victim impact statements read to the court, others said they felt they could not tell anyone about the abuse because of the culture they grew up in.

    The court heard one victim feared the consequences of speaking out following Sadiq’s conviction.

    She said: “Due to my religion it was very difficult, almost impossible to tell anyone what had happened”.

    She added: “In the Muslim religion we do not talk about personal matters”.

    ‘Family honour’

    Another victim said it was “not acceptable” in her culture to talk about what was happening at the mosque.

    She said: “I remember the relief I felt when I told my mother, and she believed me and went to the police.

    “In my family honour is very important, but my family have been very supportive”.

    Sadiq has had no involvement in the mosque since 2006 when it burnt down and was re-sited elsewhere in the city.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-40531730

    He was cleared of one indecent assault after his trial last month.

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