Wednesday, 19 March 2014

"Islamic" teacher escapes prison sentence for paedophilia (Updated)

I was appalled by a story that appeared in The Times today:

An Islamic teacher who molested a girl as he taught her the Koran has been spared jail after a court was told his family were dependent on him as his wife spoke "very little English".

Suleman Maknojia, 40 repeatedly rubbed the 11-year old's leg and reached underneath the long folds of her headscarf to squeeze her chest while giving her and her two brothers private tuition in Arabic at their home in Lancashire.....

The girl said she was "too afraid to say something".

The case only came to Court after the girls Mother overheard the other two children talking about what was going on.

Despite being convicted of five counts of sexual activity with a child his sentence was commuted from 40 weeks in jail to two years suspended. The Judges ruling was:

I bear in mind your own family circumstances. I accept you are a very good father to your six children, your wife speaks little English and administration falls upon you.

I bear in mind that social services conducted their own assessment and found that you do not pose a risk. You are now unemployed living on state benefits.

I have come to the conclusion that this repeated offending from a person in a position of trust merits a term of imprisonment that crosses the custodial threshold.

But I’m satisfied that the sentence of imprisonment in this case for the reasons I have referred to may be suspended.
Oh and apparently he is about to have surgery.
What about the damage he has caused to the victim (a child) and her family.
The fact his wife had obviously been isolated and did not have a proper grasp of the English language is no excuse for such a lenient sentence. Social Services instead of apparently reporting he "posed no further threat to children" should have arranged support for the family including language lessons and teaching the woman her full rights under English law.
This case has set a very dangerous precedent for cases involving families where English is not the main language and undermines the basic principle that all are equal under the law.


The Mail reports that:

The suspended sentence handed to a Koran teacher who sexually abused an 11-year-old girl will be reviewed by the Attorney General after protests from Muslim women's groups.

Suleman Maknojioa from Blackburn was given a 40-week suspended sentence for abusing the girl, after his defence argued that his wife couldn't speak English and the household was dependent on him.

But that decision will now be looked at again after dozens of people complained to the Attorney General's office. The Crown Prosecution Service could then send the case to the court of appeal to be reconsidered.

Lets hope justice is finally served in this case.

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