An Arabic tutor who is a local Imam sexually assaulted two young girls over the course of two years has been sentenced to 14 years in jail.
Faruque Ahmed, 46, of Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, England, had sexually assaulted the two girls who are sisters during their Arabic tutoring lessons.
Between 2009 and 2011, Ahmed was employed to teach the girls every Saturday and Sunday for two hours at a time at their family home in Warley, West Midlands.
The girls were aged eight and 12 at the time.
The girl, now aged 18, has told police that Ahmed regularly touch her between her legs after he pulled her trousers around her knees.
She also said that Ahmed would hit her with a bamboo cane if she resisted him. She said he would shuffle the girls’ chairs closer to get them within his reach.
Police arrested Ahmed in February 2017. In a police interview, he admitted that he had tutored the girls between 2009 and 2011, but said he did not assault them.
The sentencing took place at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Nov. 23. Ahmed was charged with sexually touching a child and sexual assault of a child by penetration. He was found guilty on 10 out of 13 counts against him.
Ahmed was also dealt with a sexual harm prevention order, effectively banning him from working with children for life. He will also be registered as a sex offender for life.
Ahmed was also an Imam. Local councillor Mohammed Pervez said that the sentencing was a surprise to the community.
“This has come as a shock in the community. He had been living in Cobridge and he was often seen walking along Waterloo Road. He was a very quiet person and kept himself to himself. I’m not aware of him being active in the community here,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
“It was a shock to learn that a man as quiet and as gentle as him could be involved in something like this.”
Detective Constable Sarah West from the West Midlands Police’s child abuse unit said that both victims are urging anyone in their community who has been abused to speak out.
“The girls have now got justice for the horrible abuse inflicted on them by Ahmed and are getting the support they need to move on with their lives, and they want other survivors of abuse to do the same,” West said.
“They felt powerless to speak at the time. They were scared young girls, confused, and didn’t really know what was happening.
“They had never had any sex education discussions either with their parents or at school.
“One of the girls described how it was surreal as he abused them under the table while continuing to teach them Arabic.
“He was very calm and natural so no-one would realise there was anything untoward going on.
“But with the passing of time, it became clear to them that they had been abused by a sexual predator and they have now found the courage to speak out to get justice and potentially spare other girls the trauma of suffering at his hands.”
West also praised the girls for their courage to speak out.
“Their brave actions may save other children from being abused and for that they can be rightly proud.” she said.
If you think a child is in danger or has suffered sexual abuse in the U.K., you can report the abuse to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children by calling 0808 800 5000.