Saturday 1 October 2016

Two Islamic school teachers beat pupil (10) so badly he started losing his hair with worry, court hears

Richard Vernalls

Published 10/09/2015 | 12:11

Mohammed Waqar, 23, (left) and his father Mohammed Siddique, 60, who are to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today after pleading guilty to a charge of wilful cruelty to a child under the age of 16. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Mohammed Waqar, 23, (left) and his father Mohammed Siddique, 60, who are to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today after pleading guilty to a charge of wilful cruelty to a child under the age of 16. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Two Islamic school teachers beat a 10-year-old pupil so badly he started losing his hair with worry, a court has heard.

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Mohammed Siddique, aged 60, and his 24-year-old son Mohammed Waqar are due to be sentenced later at Birmingham Crown Court after admitting wilful cruelty to the boy during lessons.

Sam Forsyth, prosecuting, said their victim had been beaten with a plastic stick and given back-of-the-hand slaps by each of his tutors for "talking in the classroom" at a Birmingham Islamic centre.

The boy was hit during four separate incidents, with photographs of his injuries showing "extensive" bruising to the back of the boy's legs.

"He also commented that Waqar would call him names like 'paedo'," added Miss Forsyth.

The punishments were given by both teachers for perceived shortcomings in the boy's efforts during religious lessons, including learning the Koran.

Reading a victim impact statement, Miss Forsyth said: "He describes how this has had a great effect on him, causing him to lose hair as he was getting very stressed.

"When he was bruised he would try and hide them with clothing even in very hot weather and make excuses not to go to the centre, such as having tummy ache.

"He would get very upset about small things."

Both men were due to be sentenced this morning but Judge Mark Wall QC has adjourned the hearing until later today to read pre-sentence reports recommending the pair receive suspended jail terms.

The men's barrister Charanjit Jutla, speaking in mitigation, said both were men of good character who deeply regretted their conduct.

He added: "Past students and other professionals speak exceptionally highly of both defendants."

Siddique, who has been teaching for 30 years, is also an imam.

Worshippers from his local mosque said he was "a polite gentleman".

Nowroz Uddin, who has known him 25 years and was in court to hear the case, said: "We're all in shock.

"I pray behind him at mosque.

"I have never heard a bad word said about Mr Siddique, he's always been a polite gentleman."

Siddique and Waqar, both of Olton Boulevard West in Tyseley, Birmingham, will be sentenced later.

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