An ex mosque teacher has been jailed for 23 years after he was found guilty of abusing three children.
The Oldham Times reports that Hafiz Fazal, 66, was accused of 17 counts of abuse in the 1990s and was found guilty of 14 of these offences.
He was convicted of six counts of indecent assault against one child, seven charges of rape against a second child, and one count of indecent assault against a third.
Fazal, who began his campaign of abuse against the first two complainants when they were seven years old, appeared in Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to be sentenced.
Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC read from three personal statements written by the victims this week.
The first said: “My innocence was stolen from me and the freedom of a carefree childhood.”
The second said: “I was given a life sentence of pain and anguish. He is a wholly disgusting man who has ruined my life, he is a danger to society.”
Representing Fazal, of Oldham, defence counsel Nick Flanagan said his client was in poor health and likely to die serving the resulting prison sentence. He said: “There is no evidence or even suggestion that there has been any further offending of this kind since August of 1996.”
Sentencing, Judge Mark Ford QC said: “The bravery of the three complainants in speaking to the police and giving evidence before the court is to be commended. It is not easy to disclose memories of this sort.”
He said the fact Fazal had pleaded not guilty and gone to trial showed he had no remorse. He also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for life and barred from working with children.
The judge said: “I have taken into account so far as I can your age and relatively ill health, but I cannot overlook the gravity of your offending, the persistence of the abuse or the devastating impact of your conduct against your victims.”