Mosque teacher Committed Heinous Crime, But Court Gave Him Prize

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    A former mosque teacher convicted of sexually and indecently assaulting children during Koran studies at a Cardiff mosque has had his jail term cut.

    Mohammed Sadiq, 81, of Cyncoed, was jailed in July for 13 years after being found guilty of six counts of indecent assault and eight counts of sexual assault on a child under 13.

    The charges involved four victims and related to the period between 1996 and 2006.

    He was found not guilty of one count of indecent assault, following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

    During the sentencing hearing, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC noted the defendant had shown “no remorse”.

    Sadiq taught at the Madina Mosque, then on Woodville Road in Cathays, for more than 30 years.

    Caroline Rees, representing Sadiq, said he wished to appeal against both his conviction and his sentence.

    She argued the conviction was unsafe due to the trial judge’s summing up of the evidence.

    Ms Rees suggested that by reading long passages from the complainants’ interviews, the judge “overemphasised” the extent of the prosecution case.

    She observed Judge Hopkins’ summing up of the prosecution case took a whole day and 94% of the transcript.

    His summing up of the defence case took half an hour and filled 6% of the transcript.

    Ms Rees said: “In my submission, that proportion cannot be balanced and thus cannot be fair. It had the potential to lead the jury to put more emphasis on the prosecution case.”

    She suggested the jury may have formed the impression the judge was “dismissive” of the defence case.

    Sadiq, from Lake Road East in Cyncoed, was sentenced on July 7.

    His representative argued the sentence was “manifestly excessive”, looking at all the facts of the case.

    She suggested his sentence did not reflect the overall seriousness when all the offences were considered together.

    Ms Rees added: “[The final sentence] is excessive by quite some margin on the facts of the case.”

    Suzanne Thomas, who prosecuted during the trial, pointed out the jury acquitted Sadiq on one count.

    She said: “That does demonstrate the jury were carefully considering the evidence in relation to each and every count.”

    Sadiq denied all the charges against him and argued during his trial there was a conspiracy against him within the mosque community.

    The appeal was before the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Sir Ian Burnett, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE and Mr Justice Clive Lewis.

    Sadiq appeared via video link from HM Parc Prison with an Urdu interpreter during the hour-long hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday.

    They found the trial judge’s summing up did not comply with best practice, but concluded that it did not mean the conviction was unsafe.

    Rt Hon Sir Burnett said: “We are in no doubt that these convictions are safe.”

    The appeal against conviction was dismissed, but the judges ruled the 13-year sentence was excessive and cut it to nine years.