Mosque’s assistant teacher jailed for cruelty towards seven-year-old boy

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An assistant teacher at a mosque has been jailed after a judge heard he chastised a young boy over his reading leaving him with bruises.

Arfaq Hussain admitted a charge of cruelty after he used his knuckles to rap the seven-year-old around the knee.

Leeds Crown Court heard on Friday that the offence came to light in December 2012 when another boy told a schoolteacher he did not want to do PE because his legs were sore.

Prosecutor Tony Kelbrick said social services spoke to that boy and to the seven-year-old, who told them he had been hit at the mosque in Whitaker Street, Batley, by his teacher.

A medical examination found an unusual group of six blue coloured bruises on the side of his right knee as well as some older brown bruises on his left knee and thigh.

A paediatrician said they did not appear to fit with accidental bruises.

When the boy was questioned he said his teacher at the mosque used his knuckles to hit him if he made mistakes.

He said his knees would be rapped and he would be told: “You’re not reading what you are supposed to be reading.”

The boy’s mother said he had told her he did not want to go to the mosque a short time before that had come to light.

Hussain, who was identified as the person involved, accepted he helped the main teacher by keeping an eye on the children and reporting them if they were naughty.

Rebecca Young, representing Hussain, said he had been an assistant teacher at the mosque for three years.

She said: “This was a momentary lapse of control by an otherwise caring father and teacher.”

She said he had not intended to cause any injury and was ashamed of what had happened.

“He appreciates the seriousness of what he has done and accepts he was in a position of trust,” she said. “He is genuinely remorseful and is mortified by the shame he has brought on his family and the mosque.”

Miss Young said he had been suspended from teaching at the mosque and a jail sentence would be difficult for his family for whom he was the sole provider.

Hussain, 36, of Mavis Avenue, Dewsbury, admitted cruelty.

Jailing him for 26 weeks, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said the prosecution had accepted it was a “one-off” offence.

But he said the boy’s family had trusted he would be looked after at the mosque.

“They were entitled and the public is entitled to know that those who care for our children in whatever capacity – voluntary or paid – will not abuse them, will not injure them,” he said.

“You did injure him. It may have been only once but it was unforgiveable conduct towards a young and vulnerable child.”

The judge said he had read testimonials saying Hussain was a hard-working and “much loved member of the community”, but the courts would not tolerate such behaviour.