Father sexually abused by Manor Park Imam 28 years ago speaks out
- Credit: Archant
A father who stayed quiet for 25 years about being sexually assaulted as a teenager has finally spoken out after seeing his attacker jailed.
Imam, Qazi Masud Alam, 69, of Milton Avenue, Manor Park, was given a 22-week jail term at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday for indecently assaulting the 16-year-old boy in December 1986.
The Muslim cleric, who has taught at a number of mosques in the borough, was only convicted after the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, found the courage to report the crime in 2012 in a bid to protect his own children.
In an exclusive interview with the Recorder, the now 45-year-old has described how the incident left him “scarred”, “angry” and “constantly worried for my children”.
The father-of-four said: “I was assaulted by a man who was in a position of trust in the local community. I had to see him walk free for so many years and it made me sick.
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“Any sentence would have been enough, I just want people to know what he did. He was a man with a lot of respect.”
The court heard how Alam, who pleaded not guilty, was known to the victim’s family and had even attended a dinner party at their home in Newham. Two weeks later the cleric turned up at the victim’s house uninvited while his parents were away for the day and sexually assaulted him by putting his hands down his trousers.
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The victim told his family about the incident but a decision was made not to call the police at the time.
“I was shocked and disgusted. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve kept it quiet for so long,” he said.
“But I couldn’t take the pressure and I just felt like he had to be exposed. He destroyed many years of my life.
“My children go to mosque and school – it is my duty to protect them. To think that a man like that is walking the streets encouraged me to go to police and I hope others come forward too.”
Alam will have to serve at least half of his sentence behind bars.
He will also no longer be able to teach children and will not be allowed to have any unsupervised contact with under 17s without parental consent and the approval of social services.
Detective Constable, Babs Choudhury, said: “I commend the bravery of Alam’s victim and hope this sentence goes some way to providing him with closure, whilst reassuring others that we are committed to pursuing those responsible for such crimes, regardless of the passage of time.”