A pensioner has started a 14-month jail term – his second stretch behind bars for child sex abuse.
Mohammed Bashir, now 74, a former Nelson cafe owner, molested the little girl over four years about three decades ago.
He had “engineered” chances to be alone with the victim and had fondled her, undressed her, exposed himself and simulated sex with the child, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Bashir had then gone to Pakistan for several years after his sordid campaign, and when he came back he targeted another little girl and abused her. The defendant was sent to prison for 15 months in 1986, after being convicted of indecently assaulting the second victim.
Bashir, of Albert Street, Nelson, recently admitted two counts of indecent assault against the first girl. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. Judge Simon Newell told him: “It was a serious form of indecent assault and it’s aggravated because of the girl’s age.”
Jeremy Lasker, prosecuting, told the hearing: “It’s plain, say the crown, that the victim found it difficult over the years to come to terms with the abuse she had suffered.” He said she first made a complaint to the police 10 years ago, but felt unable to pursue the allegations at that time because she feared her health. The woman later renewed her complaint and was interviewed in January, 2009.
The victim, who lived in the Nelson area at the time of the offences, was to tell police Bashir would cuddle her and give her sweets and treats.
His actions then turned more sinister and he stroked her, removed her underwear, touched her, took off his own clothes and simulated sex with her. The indecency took place at houses in Nelson and Brierfield.
Mr Lasker said the victim would say she had tried to take her own life and had started getting into trouble. She felt it was a lot to do with the abuse she had suffered. She told police: “I wanted to tell somebody, but I couldn’t because I was scared.”
The defendant was arrested and questioned under caution in August 2009. He denied any indecency. Mr Lasker said the victim was still suffering the effects of what had happened to her. She had self-harmed, had problems with drink and was on anti-depressants.
Martin Hackett, for Bashir, said his family was supportive of him. He had not been in trouble since he appeared on court in 1986.
Mr Hackett said: “It is serious behaviour, I accept. He was between 40 and 45 and he is now 74.”
The barrister added: “The references from his family show he is cared about and held in high regard.”