Teachers at Islamic school jailed for 12 months for beating 10-year-old pupil

Birmingham Crown Court heard the boy lost his hair with worry over beatings

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The Independent Online

Two teachers at an Islamic school in Birmingham have been jailed for 12 months for "brutally" beating a young boy with a stick.

The 10-year-old victim was repeatedly beaten for offences such as "talking in class" or "failing to read the Koran accurately" at Sparkbrook Islamic Centre in Anderton Road, Birmingham.

Teachers Mohammed Siddique, 60, and his son Mohammed Waqar, 24, admitted wilful cruelty to the boy and were sentenced on Thursday afternoon.

The court had previously heard how the child became so worried about the assaults that he started losing his hair. The teachers beat him with a plastic stick as well as back-handed slaps on four separate occasions.

Judge Mark Wall QC told the pair he had not choice but to give a jail term, saying it would "not be right" to suspend the sentence.

He said: "This is not a case where you each overreacted only once to provocation, neither is it a case in which you misunderstood what constitutes proper punishment and therefore requires some guidance from probation services as to where that boundary lies.

"Added to that, there must be no mistake about the message taken from this case.

"Acts of brutality of this sort which you each indulged in, with a stick, will not be tolerated."

Sam Forsyth, prosecuting, said the men's actions came to light when the boy informed a learning mentor at his school. Photographs of his injuries showed "extensive" bruising to the back of his legs.

The judge praised the boy for having "found the courage" to tell someone about the attack, triggering a police investigation and bringing his ordeal to an end.

A restraining order was made banning either men from contact with the victim, and Mr Wall said he had no doubt the "relevant authorities" would make an order barring the men from teaching in future.