An Islamic teacher has been spared jail despite being convicted of sexually abusing a young girl as he taught her the Koran. Suleman Maknojioa was given a 40 week custodial sentence suspended for two years as he supports his family and is now on benefits.
He was convicted of abusing an 11-year-old girl by repreatedly rubbing her leg and squeezing her chest while giving her and her two brothers private tuition at their home.
He was reported to the police after the girl’s parents overheard her brothers talking about what had happened.
This is Lancashire reports that the jury unanimously found him guilty of five charges after two hours of deliberation.
Maknojioa maintained that he had only touched the girl to reassure her when she had done well or to put her in the right position for praying.
But the girl told the court: “I did not want it, but I was too afraid to say something. He was not touching me like ‘well done’. It was not like that.
“He put his hand under my scarf and squeezed my chest. You do not do that when somebody says well done.”
The Daily Mail quotes her older brother as saying: “I knew what was happening for about a month before my parents. My sister would get very upset at the idea of anyone knowing. It was difficult for me to know what to do.
“He favoured her and praised her. He would give her 10 pages to learn and we would only get three. That way he spent most of the lesson with her.
“He did it slyly so we didn’t notice. When it happened she was trying to pray and he would interrupt her. I have seen him touching her thigh in a stroking motion. It was inappropriate.”
Despite his conviction, Maknojioa had his sentence suspended due to the fact he has to support his family and his wife speaks very little English. As he can no longer teach, he must now claim benefits for his wife and six children.