Swansea imam denies buying gifts for children at abuse trial

Image source, Nigel Davies/Geograph
Image caption,
Mr Alam denies all the charges at Swansea Crown Court

A boy who accused an imam of abusing him had a reputation for "telling lies", a court has heard.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Swansea imam Noor Alam, 34, sexually assaulted him.

Mr Alam denies 14 counts of sexual assault against six children under the age of 13 at his trial at Swansea Crown Court.

The alleged abuse took place between 2013 and the summer of 2017, when Mr Alam was arrested.

Prosecutor Carina Hughes told the court that one boy had a reputation for being "disruptive" at school.

"The boy's mother said his behaviour was deteriorating and he was increasingly telling lies," Miss Hughes said.

Miss Hughes added that the mother complained her son was viewing pornography and often used "explicit sexual language".

Giving evidence, Mr Alam said he had never taught any of the children from the Koran.

Defence barrister Stephen Thomas asked him if he had ever sexually assaulted any of them.

Recorded police interview

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Alam replied: "I did not do that, sir."

The defendant was asked by Mr Thomas if he had ever given them gifts or money, as had been claimed earlier in the trial.

"I did not because I do not have money myself," Mr Alam replied.

Mr Alam said he had never been paid for his role at the mosque, which began in 2014, and he had never claimed state benefits.

He said he lived on financial donations of "£20, £30 or sometimes £40 provided by the mosque community".

Mr Alam described an occasion when he had ordered boys to leave the mosque after he found them with a football in the prayer room. He said he told them to play outdoors.

But one of the boys "gave me the finger", he said. "Then, he said to me 'I don't like you'."

Earlier in the trial, jurors heard a recording of one of the children alleging the imam used to tell him to touch himself.

The boy said: "He used to buy me clothes and give me money... I think he used to buy me things to keep me quiet."

During a recorded police interview, the boy described how on one of the occasions he was taken to a room and then Mr Alam would lie on top of him and ask: "Who is heavier?"

The trial continues.

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