Mohammed Rafique jailed for sex assault on girl
A “VERY religious man” who sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl while teaching her the Koran has been jailed, four years after going on the run.
Mohammed Rafique came to the UK from Pakistan as an illegal immigrant eight years ago, Oxford Crown Court heard yesterday.
The 55-year-old had been trusted by the girl’s family to teach her to read the Islamic holy book every night at their house in Cowley.
But during the incident in June 2008, he stripped the girl and sexually assaulted her.
He fled after the attack and appeared on Crimestoppers “most wanted” list for of years before he was caught this July.
Rafique pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 at the crown court yesterday.
An alternative charge of attempted rape was dropped.
Judge Hall jailed him for four years and told him it was “disgraceful behaviour and a thorough breach of trust”.
The court heard Rafique left a wife and five children in Pakistan to come to Britain in 2004. Prosecutor Jonathan Stone said he was “considered by the family, and indeed locally, to be a learned religious man”.
He said on June 24, 2008, Rafique grabbed the girl tightly by her arms, pulled down her trousers and underwear and forced her on to a bed. The defendant’s semen was later found in the girl’s underwear.
Mr Stone said the victim ran screaming from the room and immediately told her mother.
Reading from the case notes, Judge Julian Hallsaid: “There was a bit of a ruckus with various members of the community turning up.
“When the policing arrived I think the defendant was bleeding.”
Mr Stone said: “‘Head’ and ‘radiator’ were referred to in the statement.
“Mr Rafique refused to leave and told the parents ‘It’s your children, they don’t respect anyone’.”
The defendant initially told police he had hit the girl for not reading the Koran but denied any sexual contact.
Peter De Feu, defending, said his client is a “very religious man” who paid an agent to smuggle him into Britain.
Rafique, of no fixed address, will automatically be considered for deportation.
Det Sgt Sarah-Jayne Beedall, who led the investigation, said: “The victim has been very brave in speaking to police about her ordeal and I hope that the result today will go some way to giving her some closure.
“Rafique has tried to evade justice for some time since leaving the Oxford area while on bail. We believe he has been in various locations around the country until he was traced in Cardiff earlier this year following an appeal on Crimewatch.
“Rafique portrayed himself as a community leader during his time in Oxford and took advantage of his position of trust to attack a young girl.”