Muslim Community Leader Denies Sexual Abuse Of Child

The Telegraph:
A former Bradford community councillor has denied the repeated sexual abuse of a boy almost 40 years ago.

Zamurrad Khan, 57, who played a prominent role in the city’s Trident regeneration programme, is alleged to have committed buggery with the child, who cannot be named, up to 20 times when he was in his late teens.

Khan, of St Lukes Close, Little Horton, Bradford, abused the boy in an alleyway and in the back of his sports car after telling his parents they were going to the mosque, the jury at Bradford Crown Court were told.

He denies three charges of buggery and one count of indecency with a child, spanning an 18-month period between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Before his trial began, Khan’s solicitor advocate, Ray Singh, said Khan had been a councillor and played a “prominent” role in the Trident project, which was given £50 million to deliver the Government’s New Deal for Communities.

Prosecutor Ian Howard said the buggery allegations would nowadays be charged as rape.

He said Khan was interviewed by the police after the complainant, now in his 40s, contacted them in 2015 after seeking counselling.

The man said Khan was aged 18 or 19 and he was about ten when the abuse started. He said Khan called at his home and asked to take him to the mosque. He had not seen him before but his parents agreed.

Instead of going there, Khan took him down an alley into a doorway and told him to take down his lower clothing before then touching him indecently.

When the child did not tell his parents what had happened, Khan embarked on more serious abuse, Mr Howard said.

He repeatedly abused the child, taking him down the alleyway or picking him up in his car and molesting him while parked under a bridge.

The man said he was working at a market in Bradford in 2008 when he saw Khan by chance and recognised him, but he made no complaint at that time.

Giving evidence in court, he said he was aged nine or ten when he first he saw of Khan when he knocked on the house door.

He said he never told his parents about the abuse because he was too scared and embarrassed. Khan told police he had never abused the complainant and did not even know him.

Asked by Mr Singh whether he had ever entered the alleyway, even by himself, Khan said no, as it was dark and made him “frightened.”

“There were no lights,” he said. “I never took the alleyway, I always took the main street.”

Asked about the second location, under the bridge, Khan said he had never driven near there until the mid-1990s when taking his son to school.

Asked by Mr Singh whether he had ever abused the boy in either location, he replied: “No sir.”

When questioned about being recognised by the child at the market in 2008, Khan said the first time he had ever visited the venue was in 2011, when he ran a shopping errand in his role as manager of Frizinghall Community Centre.

Mr Howard said of the boy’s allegations, “so when he points the finger at you, he has made a mistake?” to which Khan said: “Yes sir.”

Asked about allegedly calling at the boy’s house, Khan said: “My father objected to me playing with street kids and knocking on people’s doors.

“He never approved of me going to Bradford College, he wanted me to be a scholar.”

Mr Howard said it was a “coincidence” how the complainant had described the person who came to the door as a scholar, adding: “You were holding yourself in the image your father desired of you.”

In response, Khan said: “My image was never a scholar, I had a student image. If I had gone out knocking on someone’s door, my father would have kicked me out of the house. He was a strict man, he did not approve of us mixing with anyone else.”

Mr Howard put it to Khan that he had seen the boy in the street and “decided to pursue him,” pretending to take him to the mosque but instead taking him to the alleyway to “fondle” him.

He alleged that after Khan had “dipped his toe in the water” and the boy had not told his parents, the next time he took the boy to the alleyway, he raped him.

In reply, Khan stated: “No sir, that is not true.”

Khan told the jury that he and the complainant were “strangers to each other”, despite the boy identifying him.

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