Imam, convicted of sex offences, flees from the UK
Hifiz Rahman, 58, above, vanished at the weekend after being found guilty of assaulting two girls at the Queens Cross Mosque in Dudley in the 1980s.
According to the BBC, he fled the UK for Bangladesh ahead of being sentenced.
We are making urgent inquiries to try and arrange his return.
Rahman from Ballard Road, Netherton, did not attend the end of his trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court after claiming he was too ill and did not hear the jury’s verdicts.
Last week the Birmingham Mail reported that Rahman was arrested and charged after one of the girls, now aged 40, came forward to police in 2012.
The victim, who was between seven and eight years old at the time, told officers that the imam abused her on an almost daily basis while she was studying the Koran.
The investigation then uncovered a second victim.
DC Liz Skyte, from West Midlands Police ’s Public Protection Unit, said:
The abuse started with inappropriate touching but escalated to more serious assaults. The first complainant told us how the abuse happened almost daily but she never told anyone as due to his high standing in the community, she thought she would not be believed.
We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of historic cases we investigate – victims may only feel ready to talk about the abuse they suffered many years after the incidents and, whenever they do feel ready, the police and wider support services are here for them.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn