IT TOOK just over four years, but at last two East London men have been sent to prison for sexual offences against a child. The men were convicted after a four day trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court last November and sentenced at the same Court at the end of January.
The two men are:
•Hannan Ullah, 57, of Longbridge Road, Barking, who was convicted of sexual activity with a child;
•Mohammed Shahabir Alom, 62, of Ashdown Walk, Isle of Dogs, who was convicted of three counts of sexual touching of a boy under 13.
Both men were sentenced to two years and four months in prisonment, of which 14 months will be served on licence. They were both given an indefinite restraining order not to contact the victim directly or indirectly.
The Court heard that Ullah owned a small shop in Westferry, Tower Hamlets, which was run by Alom. A teenage boy started to hang out in the shop, and both men went on to abuse him on four occasions in January and February 2018. The abuse took place in the shop or in its storage room. On the fourth occasion, some other boys in the shop saw what was going on, and then the victim told his mother what had been happening and the matter was then reported to the police.
The initial police response was fairly quick. Officers arrested Ullah on 8th March 2018 and he was later released on bail. They interviewed Alom under caution on 20th March. However, it took until May 2019 to charge the men and it took until November 2021 for the case to come to trial. Although police and court time was reduced during the Covid pandemic, the Met has given no explanation of the long delay. They have stated that they “worked tirelessly behind the scenes to protect and safeguard the victim”, which is welcome. It’s a sham that no on was able to work a bit more on getting the case to a court hearing.
Detective Constable Fatima Ahmad, the investigating officer from Central East Basic Command Unit, said: “These two men prayed on an innocent young boy to fulfil their sexual gratification. I would like to praise the bravery of the victim who came forward and gave evidence which has resulted in putting them behind bars.”
The shop where the offences occurred has now closed down.
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