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‘Islamic tutor from Blackburn admitted sexually touching girl’
AN ISLAMIC tutor admitted to his alleged victim's father he had sexually touched his daughter during lessons, a jury has been told.
Preston Crown Court heard that when the girl's father confronted Suleman Maknojioa, of Audley Range, Blackburn, about the allegations he said: “In the name of God, please forgive me.”
It is alleged that the defendant, 40, sexually touched the girl during Koran lessons.
Summing up after a five day trial, Judge Michael Byrne said the youngster eventually told her parents that Maknojioa had stroked her leg, squeezed her chest and put his hand under her headscarf after being urged to by her brothers, who told the court they had witnessed the touching, and a relative.
The judge said the girl was asked what happened and she said “when I used to pray, he used to touch me. I thought he was being nice. But then he started touching my feet, he started touching my leg and if I had a headscarf on, he would put his hand up.”
Suleman, who has previously taught at a mosque in Darwen, denies all five counts of sexual activity with a child. He also rejected the claim that he had made any admissions to the girl’s father.
Summing up Maknojioa's evidence, Judge Byrne said the defendant had told the jury: “I said ‘my children are crying, my wife is here, she is crying are you are destroying my life’.
“I said ‘for the sake of God, think of my children, please listen’. I wanted to explain to him and know from him the type of touching. He never explained anything. I never admitted to him I touched his daughter in a sexual way.”
Judge Byrne added that Maknojioa said he had never had any malicious intentions.
Again summing up what the defendant had told the jury, he said: “The girl is a very emotional, a very little girl. If somebody speaks hard to her, she starts crying and also if she got a low mark.
“I never touched her on her body with sexual intention.
“I never squeezed her chest area. Why would I do that?
“I did demonstrate some of the actions that were necessary for praying. The only reason I ever touched her back was because she was a good student.”
The jury, which retired yesterday to consider its verdicts, heard how 13 statements supporting Maknojioa's character had been submitted to the court.