"Pirzada exploited the trust placed in him."
Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada, aged 76, of Northolt, west London, was jailed for eight years on Monday, January 21, 2019, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, for historic child sex abuse offences.
He was found guilty of sexually abusing two sisters who he privately tutored when he was an Imam.
It was heard the abuse took place between 2007 and 2009 at an address in Northolt when the girls were aged between nine and 11. Pirzada was appointed by the family to teach them the religious studies.
The two victims came forward in July 2015 to speak to police about the ordeal committed by Pirzada.
On July 28, 2016, Pirzada was arrested at his address on Laughton Road but was bailed pending further enquiries.
He was later charged with eight counts of sexual assault with a female under 13, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity on March 16, 2018.
At his trial on October 2, 2018, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Pirzada was found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Detective Sergeant Tony Killeen, from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Team of the Met Police, said:
“This is a case which dates back more than ten years, but despite the length of time since the incidents Pirzada has been convicted of his crimes.
“Pirzada exploited the trust placed in him as a religious leader to assault these two young girls.
“The victims have shown great courage, persistence and determination in securing the conviction, having persevered with the allegation and supporting the police investigation.
“The victims have had to live with this trauma and the appalling abuse they endured for the years they were taught by Pirzada and will have to live with these memories for the rest of their lives.”
Due to the nature of the sex attacks, police fear that there may be more victims of Pirzada who have not come forward. DS Killeen added:
“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of Pirzada to contact police; specially trained officers will be there to support you.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “As a faith leader Pirzada committed an appalling breach of trust and robbed two innocent young girls of their childhood.
“We hope his conviction can help them recover from the pain he inflicted on them, and that they are receiving all the help and support available so they can start to rebuild their lives.”
Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In addition to the jail sentence, Pirzada was made to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sexual Harm Protection Order was issued.