An Imam has been jailed for 13 years reportedly for indecent and sexual assaults in Cardiff, the Guardian reported on Friday.

Mohammad Haji Saddique, an Imam at a mosque in Cardiff, used to teach Quran to children at the mosque. According to reports in the British media, he touched his female students inappropriately in front of his class and poked them with a stick as they studied.

Saddique, who had been teaching at the mosque for 30 years, was found guilty of eight counts of sexual assaults and six counts of indecent assaults. The assaults took place between 1996 and 2006.

A Cardiff crown court judge jailed him for 13 years and ordered him to be immediately registered as a sex offender.

An investigation was first launched against Saddique in 2006 when two girls accused him of sexual assault. However, it remained fruitless as Saddique denied the allegations. Investigation was reopened in 2016 when two more girls came forward and eventually led to his conviction.

Saddique, born in Hong Kong, would "touch the girls under their traditional loose-fitting clothing during his lessons, and rub them against his groin and legs," the Guardian reported.

Praising the girls for their bravery, the judge lamented that the imam had "no idea" of the harm he caused to his victims. He expressed hope that more people will come forward to report sexual assaults after the conviction.

Meanwhile Saddique, who has also lived in Pakistan, denied the allegations as being a conspiracy against him by people at the mosque.

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...