47-year-old Darren Osborne from Cardiff was arrested by police in the early hours of Monday
Man guilty of child abuse at Cardiff mosque
A man's been convicted of abusing four girls at a mosque in Cardiff.
The former Arabic teacher is facing jail after being found guilty of touching the girls. who were as young as five, while they read to him from the Koran.
Mohammed Haji Saddique, who taught at the Madina Mosque for more than 30 years, would call the girls to sit next to him on the pretence of getting them to read from the Muslim holy book, Cardiff Crown Court heard during his trial.
The now 81-year-old would sexually touch the youngsters as they read.
Saddique, of Lake Road East, Cyncoed, denied 15 counts of indecent and sexual assault relating to four different girls over a 10-year period between 1996 and 2006, but was found guilty of 14 child sex offences and not guilty of one of the sexual assault charges.
The court heard Saddique was a member of the mosque until it was destroyed by fire in 2006 and that as well as worshipping there, he was involved in other aspects of running it, including at one time as treasurer and as a teacher of Koran studies to primary school-aged children.
Suzanne Thomas, prosecuting, said in her opening statement that Saddique created a culture in his lessons in which it was the norm for physical punishment to be used in order to discipline the children.
She said: "It is while teaching at the mosque that the prosecution say the defendant took advantage of his position and touched in a sexual manner four young girls who were in his care."
One of the victims, now an adult, who cannot be named, told the jury that Saddique touched her inappropriately, adding: "I didn't know how to talk about it because in our culture it's not something you talk about."
"He would just sort of call my name out and I knew that it was my turn to come and read. I knew it was going to happen at some point which made me quite nervous. I felt at the time I didn't have a choice."
Saddique claimed the allegations were the result of a conspiracy by senior members of the mosque.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Cronick of South Wales Police said the four women had shown "immense courage" in coming forward and that Saddique had "abused his position of trust within the community he served".
DCI Cronick said he believed that as a result of the verdicts there may be members of the community who now felt confident enough to speak out and urged them to talk to police or support agencies.
An NSPCC Cymru spokesman said: "Sadiq subjected his victims to abuse over a prolonged period of time. He preyed on vulnerable children and abused them for his own gratification.
"His actions will have had a severe effect on his victims and they will need support to overcome what has happened to them."
Advice and support is available from the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000 or at or nspcc.org.uk.
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