Islamic teacher who sexually abused girl, 11, as he taught her the Koran spared jail because his wife doesn’t speak English

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Suleman Maknojioa, 40, squeezed girl’s chest under her prayer scarf
Attacks took place as he gave lessons in Arabic to girl and her brothers

Father of six convicted of five counts of sexual activity with a child
He was handed a suspended sentence after judge told family rely on him

AN Islamic teacher who repeatedly molested a terrified girl of 11 as he taught her the Koran has escaped a jail sentence because his wife’s English is so bad.

Suleman Maknojioa, 40, repeatedly rubbed the youngster’s leg and reached under the folds of her prayer headscarf to touch her chest.

He was given a suspended sentence because the court heard the father of six’s family were so dependent on him and he is ill with kidney problems.

Maknojioa was supposed to be giving the girl and her two brothers private tuition.

He was said to have favoured the girl and claimed the touching was done to reassure her.

But his confused victim became terrified whenever lessons were due.

He was finally reported to police after the children’s mother overheard her two sons, aged 13 and seven, talking about the incidents.

Maknojioa was a respected hafiz – a scholar of the Koran.

On the day he was arrested he was due to teach 30 children at a mosque near his home in Blackburn.

He was later convicted of five counts of sexual activity but on Monday he escaped with a 40-week prison sentence suspended for two years.

A family friend condemned the sentence. ‘This is a total disgrace,’ said the friend, who asked not to be named.

‘What type of message does this send out to paedophiles? He should be behind bars for this type of abuse. We are all horrified.’

Preston Crown Court was told Maknojioa had been engaged by the children’s parents in 2012 to teach them about the Islamic faith up to three times a week at their home in Lancashire.

In September that year the girl and her two brothers started tuition of the Koran in Arabic in their living room.

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