UK imam jailed for 13 years for sexually abusing girls

Published: July 8, 2017
Mohammed Haji Saddique taught at Madina mosque in Cardiff for more than 30 years. Photograph: South Wales Police

Mohammed Haji Saddique taught at Madina mosque in Cardiff for more than 30 years. Photograph: South Wales Police

Mohammed Haji Saddique, an imam from Cardiff, UK has been convicted and jailed for 13 years after he sexually harassed four young girls in a mosque.

The 81-year-old would call students to sit next to him during Holy Quran classes and would sexually touch the girls also slap students repeatedly if they made mistakes while reciting the lessons.

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According to court reports, he also had metal and wooden sticks which he would use to pick the students during lessons.

Saddique was teaching at Madina Mosque in Cardiff for more than 30 years and was convicted of 14 offences which includes six indecent assaults and eight sexual assaults, all of which took place between 1996 and 2006.

Judge Stephen Hopkins sent Saddique for 13 years and ordered him to register as a sex offender. “All four complainants were very brave indeed in overcoming not only personal but cultural barriers which they faced in making formal complaints and giving evidence against you,” the judge said.

“There is a darker, deviant side to you which this trial has exposed. This was a gross breach of trust – parents sending their young, female children to be taught the Holy Quran by you.”

During the trial, Saddique insisted the allegations against him were a conspiracy by other members of the mosque. The judge said he has “no idea” of the harm his actions have caused.

Saddique was born in Hong Kong and moved to Pakistan before settling in Cardiff in 1967.

“You would attempt to maintain discipline and concentration by tapping or slapping the child sitting next to you who didn’t read correctly,” the judge said.

“Every time one of these small children made a mistake you would slap them until they got it right and slap them for every mistake they made.”

An investigation was first launched in 2006 when two girls came forward, but Saddique denied wrongdoing. It was then restarted in 2016 after two other girls came forward.

In statements by victims, who are now in their 20s, the girls spoke of the impact Saddique’s harassment had on their lives.


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Caroline Rees, Saddqiue’s lawyer, described him as a “frail and unwell” great-grandfather whose community and family hold him in high esteem. “This is a man of 81 whose life expectancy is not good given his health and age,” she added.

This story originally appeared on The Guardian.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Furkan AWAN
    Jul 8, 2017 - 1:34PM

    Such criminal people destroys the beautiful image of Islam and make the non-believers think that our religious scholars are always lusty and bad. I wish if this old guy ever come to Pakistan I would give him a lesson that he remember. in Such an age and in such a place doing indecent activities with kids is absolutely above inhumanity.Recommend

  • Jammer
    Jul 8, 2017 - 6:29PM

    Judge says (Every time one of these small children made a mistake you would slap them).

    Logically speaking its impossible in real world. Children run away very next day if someone slap them on every step.
    Its a biggest crime of this person. Thayswhy judge mentioned it. He did not rape the girls its not mentioned at all.

    Independent Verdict.
    13 Year Imprisonment is a series of raciat assualt against all muslims. An Englush kills a person gets 5 years in Jail.

    Judge is not fariashta. Cardiff is known for hate and racism. Sane city attacked Muslims with Van. Point is Its Jungle Raj when it comes to so called 1st world.

    Crime of this innocent man is that he does not know how to speak english to defend his case and muslim from Pak.Recommend

  • Saeed Masood
    Jul 8, 2017 - 6:33PM

    Sad Very Sad, extremely shameful, this is why there is a capital punishment for these hard core criminals.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 8, 2017 - 7:35PM

    Pure evil.

    Dont trust these mullahs.

    A lot on the payroll of Iran and Arabs and pushing their agenda, when not abusing little kidsRecommend

  • CharlieChapatti
    Jul 8, 2017 - 7:52PM

    Just like the Catholic Priest scandals I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s very likely that there are many so called Mullahs and religious scholars who are using their position of trust to take advantage of innocent and defenseless children.Recommend

  • Khadim Hussain
    Jul 8, 2017 - 8:37PM

    It’s extremely shameful indeed. Such individuals are stain on the name of Islam, which is indeed a religion of peace and harmony. However, It must be regarded an individual’s act. It has nothing to do with Islam, which gives us lesson of morality and humanity.Recommend

  • Shakil
    Jul 9, 2017 - 3:49AM

    idiots are the parents who tolerated this so so long!Recommend

  • jhgfhk
    Jul 9, 2017 - 1:27PM

    Purify your mind and soul. Make istigfaar  (seek forgiveness and increase the-remembrance of ALLAH)A♥☀♥Recommend

  • Javid
    Jul 9, 2017 - 3:19PM

    In the UK people have courage to report these crimes to the police because they trust the police to do something and not blame the victims.Recommend

  • rao amjad ali
    Jul 9, 2017 - 6:11PM

    @Jammer – You should stick with your natural platform: grow back that tail and climb a tree!Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jul 9, 2017 - 11:24PM

    Second try!
    Accused had lived in UK for over thirty years but you claim he doesn’t speak English???
    You also neglected to explain just how the accused was “innocent” with all the public testimony given about his conduct around children! Recommend

  • Samir
    Jul 9, 2017 - 11:56PM

    Idiot people does not understand hate convictions. UK has convicted 12000 innocent people in jail. Google it
    My all prayers for this innocent man who got trapped in based police culture.
    Bad luck at bad place. Recommend

  • Shakil
    Jul 14, 2017 - 11:03PM

    get a life, UK hardly convict any person, a small doubt can make the criminal go free. Recommend

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