"you had shown an unlawful sexual interest in someone."
Sabbir Ibrahim, aged 66, of Little Harwood, Blackburn, has been sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl.
Preston Crown Court heard that Ibrahim was described as a “respected community figure.” However, his attacks had destroyed the victim’s self-confidence.
He had made the girl relive her ordeal during the trial after he denied offences of assault by penetration and sexual assault.
The court heard that this prospect made the victim physically sick.
John Wyn Williams, prosecuting, said that the victim had reported the penetration offence to her mother, almost immediately after it happened, and the police were informed.
It was later discovered that Ibrahim, a father-of-two, had a separate sexual assault conviction, which dated back to 2017 and involved a 17-year-old girl.
Judge David Potter told Ibrahim:
“This was not the first time that you had shown an unlawful sexual interest in someone.”
He went on to explain that Ibrahim had approached the teenage girl from behind and placed his hands on her shoulders, before groping her breasts and moving down to her crotch area.
The teenage victim ran away and later reported him to the police.
As a result of both cases, Judge Potter concluded that Ibrahim had a sexual interest in young females.
Gordon Cole QC, defending, said that notwithstanding the fact his client maintained his denials of the most recent offences, he wanted to challenge assertions in his pre-sentence report that he did not appreciate the impact the trial had on the girl.
Mr Cole stated: “He was quite specific in his account to me, that he was remorseful and sorry that the young girl had to come to court.”
Mr Cole went on to tell the court that his client was hardworking and was a well-respected figure in the community.
At an earlier hearing, Ibrahim was convicted of sexually assaulting the girl.
Referring to the conviction relating to the eight-year-old girl, Judge Potter said:
“The sexual abuse of young children is something which can cause emotional issues well into adulthood.”
Sabbir Ibrahim was jailed for six years, minus 95 days he had spent on a qualifying curfew during the most recent proceedings.
Lancashire Telegraph reported that he must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life and will be the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.