South West Wales

Swansea imam 'abused children at mosque', court hears

Swansea Crown Court Image copyright Nigel Davies/Geograph
Image caption Jurors at Swansea Crown Court heard recordings of alleged victims

An imam abused children at a mosque in Swansea over a number of years, a jury at Swansea Crown Court has heard.

Noor Alam, 34, denies 14 counts of sexual assault against children under the age of 13, with the last alleged incident in the summer of 2017.

Jurors heard a recording of one of the children alleging the imam used to tell him to touch himself.

He added: "He used to buy me clothes and give me money... I think he used to buy me things to keep me quiet."

During a recorded police interview, the boy described how on one of the occasions he was taken to a room and then Mr Alam would lie on top of him and ask: "Who is heavier?"

The boy also said: "I think it's my fault because if I had said about what happened sooner, he wouldn't have done it to the other kids."

'The absolute truth'

Another of the alleged victims told the court on cross-examination he would go into the room for sweets. He also said he would do this without permission.

Asked by defence barrister Stephen Thomas why he did it, the alleged victim replied: "We were quite angry for what he did and he hurt us [physically] and [emotionally]."

He was also asked why he would play football outside the mosque instead of going to the park down the road. The alleged victim replied: "To annoy him."

When asked by Mr Thomas whether he was telling the truth about what happened to him, he replied: "The absolute truth."

In another interview with a different alleged victim heard by the jury, the young boy said he was in the room with two friends when Mr Alam "started touching me" on his belly, under his t-shirt.

During the interview the young boy said: "I thought he was a proper imam. I thought I could trust him."

Mr Alam denies all the charges and the trial continues.

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