An imam who raped a young boy was protected by mosque elders who banished him abroad.
Noor Walile, 38, was given a six year jail term after he raped the boy in a toilet in between a lesson he was giving at Rugby Mosque, Warwickshire.
When confronted about the attack after the terrified child told his parents he said: “The devil made me do it.”
The elders ordered Walile to flee back home to India and told him to never return or the police would be told. But years later he was traced to an address in Leicester after his young victim broke his silence and told detectives.
When the rape charge was put to him at Warwick Crown Court, Walile, broke down in tears. He said: “I am guilty. So sorry, I am guilty.”
Prosecutor Jane Sarginson said he was the imam in the mosque in around 2010. Among his duties was teaching children. The court heard how Walile raped the boy in the mosque’s toilets during one of the lessons.
When the imam later visited the boy’s home the child ran away and told his parents he never wanted to go to the mosque again. His parents contacted an elder who advised them to save the clothes the boy had been wearing and not to wash them. The mosque elder and the parents then confronted Walile.
Miss Sarginson said: “Initially Walile denied the allegations, but then said he had done something ‘very bad’ but he could not remember what happened only that the devil had come over him. He was told he would have to go back to India and never return, or the matter would be reported to the police – and that is what the family understood had happened.’
But earlier this year the assault was reported to the police. Officers then traced Walile who initially denied raping the boy or confessing it to the mosque elder. But once he was told the family had kept the clothing, he confessed: “I have told lies during this interview. I am sorry, I did a bad thing. The devil came over me, and I did this bad act.”
Anthony Bell, defending, said: “He has worked in a responsible position for many years, without any behaviour such as this in the past. When the incident happened he took the advice, albeit fairly firmly expressed, to leave the country and go to India; but he returned to this country to be with his family and his wife, who is a British citizen. He has lived quietly in a different city, so that there would be no risk of contact with the boy or his family.
“His shame is apparent. He offers no explanation and no justification for what he’s done. He is ashamed of himself and acutely aware of the shame he has brought on his family.”
Jailing Walile, Judge Stephen Eyre said: “The members of your community entrusted their young children to you for guidance and education. You were in a position of responsibility and leadership at the mosque. You abused that position and that trust, and defiled the faith you were paid to uphold.
“He was a young boy entrusted to your care for guidance, and you raped him. It is hard to think of any greater abuse of the trust that had been placed in you. If you had not pleaded guilty, the sentence would have been one of nine years.”