Wales

Cardiff Koran teacher who abused children dies in prison

Mohammed Haji Sadiq Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Mohammed Haji Sadiq was convicted of eight sexual assaults on children in 2017

An 83-year-old Koran teacher who was convicted of child sex offences at a Cardiff mosque has died less than three years after he was jailed.

Mohammed Haji Sadiq was found guilty in July 2017 of eight sexual assaults on a child by touching, and six indecent assaults.

Sadiq, of Cyncoed, Cardiff, died in Parc Prison, Bridgend on Wednesday.

His funeral is being held on Friday at the Madina mosque, where he committed his offences as a volunteer teacher.

In a statement, the mosque said: "We wholeheartedly sympathise with the victims. The mosque is a place of worship for any Muslims. We sympathise with the victims and the bereaved family."

Sadiq was initially sent to prison for 13 years, but in December 2017 that sentence was reduced to nine years.

Appeal Court judges dismissed his appeal against conviction. They said they were in no doubt the jury's verdicts were were safe, but decided the sentence was too high.

His trial at Cardiff Crown Court was told he taught for 30 years at the mosque, which was formerly at Woodville Road, Cathays, and is now in nearby Lucas Street.

The court heard he abused four girls aged between five and 11 between 1996 and 2006 as a form of punishment.

He denied the charges and blamed "politics" in the mosque for the accusations.

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Media captionBeing abused by paedophile Koran teacher Mohammed Haji Sadiq 'felt normal eventually', says victim

He taught there from 1976, but had had no involvement in the mosque since 2006, when the Woodville Road building burnt down and was re-sited in Lucas Street.

Judge Stephen Hopkins told Sadiq he was a man "of some cunning" with a "dark and deviant side".

The court was told some victims said they were afraid to attend the mosque because of his abuse, and one tried to take her own life.

Others said they felt they could not tell anyone about the abuse because it was "not acceptable" in their culture to talk about what was happening.

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