"I don’t know how I will get back to my normal self but it had to be done. It was the right thing to do."
A sex abuser has received a jail sentence for historical child sex abuse – 25 years after his female victim first reported the crimes to police.
Identified as 64-year-old Imtinan Aljoffrey-Uppal, from Stockport, the jury found him guilty of 5 counts of sexual assault. He was sentenced to 4 years in jail for four of the charges and another 12 months for the fifth, which will run concurrently.
The trial took place on 2nd January 2018 in Manchester. During the 1980s, the individual committed the crimes when his victim was a child.
After telling a family member about the abuse, she was advised to speak to her mother. She first reported the abuse at the age of 11, making her first statement to police in 1991.
While Greater Manchester Police (GMP) investigated the allegations, they did not refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The unnamed woman recalled:
“They decided there was not enough evidence – my word against his – and no material evidence – although I am living, walking, talking evidence. He was arrested and questioned, and no further action taken.”
She explained more about the aftermath of the abuse: “I ended up going round his place of residence and vandalising his car, scratching it up, thinking it would give me some justice – it didn’t.”
The victim made a second statement to officers after another person also made allegations of historical sex abuse against Aljoffrey-Uppal.
The CPS received evidence from the GMP and gave advice on it. But ultimately, they made no further action:
“At this point, it’s not just the abuse itself, its the system that’s the problem – that’s adding to my mental health problems. They were preventing me from getting justice.”
The widely-reported cases of Jimmy Saville and Stuart Hall encouraged the woman to contact police again. In September 2014, she provided a video statement and CPS eventually charged Aljoffrey-Uppal in April 2015.
However, it took two trials to see the sex predator convicted and sentenced. The first trial took place two and a half years after police charged him, in January 2017. It ended with the jury unable to give a verdict.
In October, CPS scheduled a retrial, which has now led to the man sentenced to 4 years in jail. The victim’s friend told reporters:
“Uppal was very arrogant throughout the trials. He thought he had got away with it. His face dropped and he shrivelled into a small child when the guilty verdicts came back.”
The victim also revealed the psychological impact left by the crime and the long battle for justice:
“It has broken me. My son is the only thing that has kept me going, because I have to be here for him. I don’t know how I will get back to my normal self but it had to be done. It was the right thing to do.”
Joanne Cunliffe, Head of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit in the North West, thanked the woman for her “tremendous bravery”. Noting the progress made for police and CPS, she added:
“I realise that it has been a long and difficult process for the victim in this case to achieve justice. I hope that the conviction and jail sentence that Imtinan Aljoffrey-Uppal is now serving will provide a measure of justice for her.”
While Aljoffery-Uppal will begin his sentence, he is seeking leave to appeal the conviction.