rocking the Buddhist world
The meeting was called by David White, chairman of business strategy advisers Port Jackson and Partners; Ian Buchanan, former lead partner with management consultants Booz Allen Hamilton; Diane Grady, non-executive director of Macquarie Bank and chair of Ascham School; and Gordon Cairns, chairman of Origin Energy and Woolworths.
Assistant News Editor and Motoring Reporter
A 33-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for two years for the “systematic” sexual abuse of a young girl over a period of ten months.
During the trial, the jury heard that Waqar, a married man with three children, pulled down the girl’s trousers and touched her indecently. He also showed her pornography on his phone and kissed her on the lips.
The police were alerted when she told her mother in September last year.
Waqar’s barrister, Jeremy Hill Baker, handed in references from family members and employers speaking highly of his client and saying his behaviour was out of character. Mr Hill Baker said Waqar’s wife was very supportive of him and his relatives were shocked and upset.
The court heard Waqar continued to deny his guilt, telling his probation officer he was innocent.
He urged the court to consider the possibility of suspending the inevitable custodial sentence.
But the trial judge, Recorder Rachael Harrison, said Waqar had deliberately isolated the girl in order to sexually assault her.
“You systematically abused her over ten months,” Recorder Harrison said. She told Waqar: “Only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”
A Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years was put in place to safeguard young girls in the future and Waqar must sign on the sex offenders’ register.
After the case, an NSPCC spokesperson said: “Waqar’s young victim has shown incredible courage in coming forward and speaking out. “She has been through a traumatic experience but her bravery has helped put him behind bars."
“Talking to a trusted adult about abuse is extremely difficult and the NSPCC visits schools in Bradford – and across the country – to help young people speak out and stay safe.
“Children can call Childline and speak to trained counsellors at any time of the day or night on 0800 1111. Adults with concerns about a child can call the NSPCC Helpline – in confidence – on 0808 8005000.”
A pensioner’s criminal past caught up with him when he was arrested for sexual offences committed with two young girls 60 years ago.
Roy Brooks was just a teenager when he raped one of his victims and 20 when he indecently assaulted the other girl.
The 76-year-old grandfather, married for 50 years, went on to be “highly-valued and respected member of the community”, said a judge.
He was himself was said to be perplexed about why he committed the offences.
Brooks, of Thomas Street, Tunbridge Wells, admitted two charges of rape committed in the 1950s and two of indecent assault a decade later.
His victims only revealed their ordeal last year, Maidstone Crown Court heard. Brooks then admitted the offences.
Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said he had “exploited their innocence”.
Jailing Brooks for four years and four months, he said: “One can only imagine what sort of psychological and emotional damage your behaviour inflicted on them both. Neither felt able to reveal to anyone what you had done to them, plainly through fear - fear of not being believed. They, therefore, kept quiet and lived with what for them was a dark secret for many decades.”
Their suffering, he said, was probably only partially revealed in their harrowing victim impact statements. One told of living with shame and guilt, while the other said self-esteem and self-confidence had been shattered.
The judge said Brooks had also devastated his own family and spoke of his “unusual and genuine sentiments of guilt” expressed in his letter to the court.
“But for these offences, the clear picture I have is of a man who has had a blameless life, looking after his family and playing a social role within the community,” said Judge Griffith-Jones. “You say, and I accept, that you have been humbled by the many testimonials submitted by those who know you well and who have been willing to speak very highly of you as a highly-valued and respected member of the community with many fine qualities.
“But plainly, a prison sentence is demanded - nothing less will do.” Brooks’ name will appear on the sex offenders’ register.
Michelle James, detective constable at Kent Police, said: "This was an extraordinary case, in that the offences had happened such a long time ago. The abuse suffered by the two victims has profoundly affected their whole lives and it is only now that they have been able to summon up the courage to seek justice for the anguish Roy Brooks forced them to endure.
"Brooks has shown genuine remorse for his actions when he was a young man, however the passing of time does not diminish the fact that these were very serious offences committed against young and vulnerable victims. This case also illustrates that it is never too late to report any sexual offence. We will always treat any information with the upmost confidence and sensitivity."
By Richard Spillett, Crime Correspondent For Mailonline
A row erupted in court today as 12 men charged in the investigation into child sex abuse in Rotherham appeared in court.
The group of Asian men are facing a total of 44 offences with 10 men pleading not guilty to a range of charges at Sheffield Crown Court.
But the hearing was interrupted when some of the defendants pointed towards three men in the public gallery and claimed they were being filmed.
The proceedings were halted as security guards stepped in to remove phones from the men, although it was unclear whether they were actually filming.
It comes after disruption at a previous hearing, which lead to a heavy police presence outside the courthouse today.
The judge reminded all in court that taking photos or recording proceedings is considered contempt of court and can lead to prison sentences.
Judge Sarah Wright said: 'It's a criminal offence to take photos in the court room. I regard it as a very serious Contempt of Court if there are any breaches of court rules in the public gallery.'
Sharaz Hussain (left) and Salah Ahmed El-Hakam (right) hid their faces at a previous hearing
Amjal Rafiq, 38, Nabeel Kurshid, 34, Iqlak Yousaf, 33, Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, 36, Aftab Hussain, 38, Abid Saddiq, 36, Sharaz Hussain, 33, Salah Ahmed El-Hakam, 38, Masaeud Malik, 33, and Waseem Khaliq, 33, appeared today.
They all pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, aiding or abetting rape, indecent assault, sexual touching, supply of controlled drugs and false imprisonment.
The charges relate to the sexual abuse of eight girls under the age of 16 over a five-year period from 1998 to 2003.
Tanweer Ali, 36, did not enter and will be arraigned at a later hearing pending a psychiatric examination.
Mohammed Ashan, 33, was not produced but will be arraigned at a later hearing.
Salah Ahmed El-Hakam, Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, Nabeel Kurshid, Iqlak Yousaf and Amjal Rafiq will face trial on September 3 next year, which is likely to last eight weeks.
Abid Saddiq, Aftab Hussain, Waseem Khaliq, Masaeud Malik and Sharaz Hussain will face trial on November 12 next year, which is likely to last six weeks.
The group were all arrested as part of Operation Stovewood - a police investigation into sexual abuse launched after the Rotherham grooming scandal.
Eight of the men, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, were granted bail.
Masaeud Malik was remanded in custody and Waseem Khaliq was granted technical bail.