Devout Muslim spared jail over child flogging

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A devout Muslim convicted of child cruelty for encouraging two boys to beat themselves in a religious ceremony walked free from court today.

Syed Mustafa Zaidi was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The 44-year-old was also prohibited from allowing or encouraging anyone under the age of 16 to beat themselves during the next 12 months.

Judge Robert Atherton, at Manchester Crown Court, told him: "I reject the suggestion that they were forced to participate, although I consider it likely that the fervour of events is also likely to have affected their wish to participate."