Sex abuse imam still on run from justice two years after trial
A paedophile imam, who went on the run during his trial nearly two years ago, is no closer to being brought to justice.
Hafiz Rahman, who preyed on two young girls in the 1980s, slipped through the net and fled to Bangladesh – after claiming he was too ill to attend court.
Rahman, aged 59, of Ballard Road, Netherton, was found guilty of five charges of indecent assault in October 2016.
But after the jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in his absence, Rahman managed to board a flight to Bangladesh and disappear.
But Judge Nicholas Cartwright said during sentencing: “There was no need to be suspicious that he would not attend his sentencing hearing so no warrant was issued for his arrest after he was convicted.”
He was the imam at Queens Cross mosque in Cradley Heath and was convicted of historic crimes against the girls.
He sexually assaulted the girls at the mosque in a string of attacks between March 1986 and August 1987.
One of his victims previously told the Express & Star that the imam’s escape has prevented her from moving on and believes he may never be found.
She also complained about receiving a lack of information on the investigation from both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
She said: “It was a bittersweet victory. Others now know what he was doing but I haven’t got closure.
“Personally, I don’t think they will ever find him, Bangladesh is a very big country.
“Even if they do find his location there’s a chance he could slip away.
“The scary thing is he could still be doing the same thing.”
Hopes of his capture were raised last year when files were passed to extradition experts but it is believed he has yet to return to the UK.
A West Midlands Police spokesman has said there is no update concerning Rahman.
While, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “We neither confirm nor deny the existence of an extradition request until the person has been arrested.”
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