Mosque teacher jailed for sexually assaulting children during Koran studies

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Mohammed Sadiq was jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of six counts of indecent assault and eight counts of sexual assault A mosque teacher who sexually assaulted young girls as they read to him in Koran studies at a mosque in Cardiff has been jailed.

Mohammed Sadiq, who taught at the Madina Mosque for more than 30 years, denied 15 counts of indecent and sexual assault, but was found guilty of all but one count by a jury after trial.

“You appear to have no understanding of the harm and humiliation you inflicted on four young children, as they were.”

He was jailed for 13 years at Cardiff Crown Court and the judge imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.  

Opening the case, prosecutor Suzanne Thomas said: “It was while he was teaching at the mosque, the prosecution say, that the defendant took advantage of his position.”

The court heard that 81-year-old Sadiq created a culture where physical punishment was “normal”.

Prosecutors said he was a member of the mosque, then on Woodville Road in Cathays, until it was destroyed by fire in 2006.

Ms Thomas said: “In addition to attending for worship, he was involved in other aspects of running the mosque – at one time as treasurer.

“Then he was involved in teaching Koran studies to primary school age children, which took place at the mosque after school.”

The court heard the boys and girls in the class would call Sadiq “uncle” as a sign of respect.

The allegations involved four alleged victims and related to the period between 1996 and 2006.

Sadiq, from Lake East Road in Cyncoed, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault and eight counts of sexual assault.

Mike Jenkin, from the Crown Prosecution Service, 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.”

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Cronick of South Wales Police said: "Mohammed Sadiq abused his position of trust within the community he served.

“Last month’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 the verdict and today’s sentence 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 for 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”.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “This was an appalling breach of trust and Sadiq has rightly received a significant prison sentence for these heinous offences. He abused his authority and the faith placed in him to carry out a succession of sexual assaults against vulnerable children.

“It is absolutely right that people who suffered child sexual abuse know where to turn for support and feel confident that their voices will be heard, no matter how much time has passed since their ordeal.”

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