Muslim Tries to Escape Jail Sentence for Child Abuse Because 'Shame is Punishment Enough'
By Jonathan Owen, 3rd August 2016, Express
A Muslim woman who sexually abused a nine year old schoolgirl over a period of four years used her religion in a failed attempt to escape a jail sentence.
At a sentencing hearing at Teesside Crown Court, Raheelah Dar, from Middlesbrough, argued that she had already been punished by the stigma of being found guilty earlier this year of a string of child sex offences.
Her barrister Alison Pryor told the court that, as a Muslim woman convicted of offences against someone of the same sex, her 43-year-old client had been shamed enough and should not be jailed.
She argued: “My client is a practising Muslim, the shame that this has brought and will bring on her family cannot be underestimated…The effect that a sentence would have is less than the effect that the conviction had on the community."
Ms Pryor also argued that her client suffered from bi-polar disorder and had “not had an easy life” with two failed marriages, one of which involved domestic abuse, and the death of her two-year-old daughter in 2008.
But sentencing Dar to seven years in prison, Recorder Tim Roberts QC rejected the pleas and commented that he “would not be fulfilling (his) public duty" if he did not jail her.
He said: “You were sexually experienced and had been married. She was an innocent. You were crafty.”
Judge Roberts said Dar had "corrupted" her victim and "abused her against the idea of a normal relationship in favour of the selfish, exclusive and sexual relationship you were to have with her.”
He categorised Dar as an 'offender of particular concern.’
Dar, who was in her mid to late 20s at the time of the offences, had been found guilty of three counts of indecent assault of a child, and two further counts of indecency.
During her trial earlier this year, she was accused of isolating, manipulating and molesting the girl.
Jurors had heard how Dar groomed the girl and made her feel partly to blame for what happened, which began with kissing and escalated to more intimate sexual assaults.
Her victim, now in her early 20s, cannot be named for legal reasons.
She faced her abuser in court and read a statement which said: “I felt isolated from the community I was brought up in as the topic of child abuse is taboo and is kept behind closed doors.”
The victim said she had struggled to maintain a healthy weight, had self harmed and could not bear physical contact.
She had suffered flashbacks and panic attacks since reporting the abuse to police, after a chance meeting with Dar as an adult last year.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "Victims should not suffer in silence and hopefully this example will assist in encouraging victims of sexual abuse to report it to police.”
She added: "Today's sentence will stands as an example that those responsible for sexual abuse will be brought to justice."
Comment from Suffragents: We feel that too many ‘excuses’ are used to keep women out of jail when those types of excuses could never be put forward by a man. The young girl was groomed by someone who should have known better, as the Recorder states. Boys and Girls are not safe when confronted by either gender who would manipulate them.