A man has been jailed for a string of historic sexual offenses. Ilyas Akhtar carried out the abuse in the 1980s and 90s, when his victim was a young girl.
Akhtar, of Meade Hill Road, Prestwich, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment at Bolton Crown Court, after being found guilty of six counts of indecent assault. Prosecution barrister Charlotte Rimmer told the court that Akhtar, now 48, was a teenager at the time of the offenses and that he abused the child ‘regularly’ over a five-year-period.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that the first incident happened when she was a little girl. Akhtar asked her to expose her lower half of her, the court heard, before rubbing himself against her.
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Ms Rimmer said that the victim believed there had been a ‘code word’ that Akhtar used before carrying out the abuse but that she could not remember what it was.
It came to light a few years ago when she disclosed what had happened to a friend she met at a counseling course. She later told her husband and the police in early 2019.
Akhtar gave a no comment interview to police but he admitted two instances of abuse to his brother. In a text message, Akhtar described the incidents as “nothing serious” and “just a bit of fiddling”.
Akhtar later accused people of ‘trying to stitch him up’ and during a trial, he denied any instances of touching but admitted exposing himself twice. A jury found him guilty of all six charges that he faced.
In an impact statement, the victim described the abuse as “an ordeal that has taken over my whole life”. She said that she felt withdrawn, confused and ashamed as a child and used to “hide away at the back of the classroom, not wanting to talk”.
She described herself as a ‘recluse’ and said it has affected her relationship with her husband, as well as her own children. The statement also claimed that she suffers with anxiety and depression.
Defending, Rebecca Young said: “It’s very difficult to put forward any real mitigation in relation to the offenses themselves. He maintains his innocence of him, which is perhaps not surprising as it is only a short time since his trial of him.
“He acknowledges, as he must, that these have had a devastating and lasting effect on the complainant and it can only be hoped she has some closure.”
Ms Young told the court that Akhtar has no previous convictions and is a man of ‘exceptional character’ who is “well thought of by everyone who came into contact with him. She also submitted that he does not have an ‘innate interest in children’ and has worked in jobs where he has been subject to DBS checks.
Recorder Alexandra Simmons jailed Akhtar for three years. She said: “These offenses had a profound impact on [the victim] throughout her life.
“She has been devastated by your actions. The long-lasting impact cannot be overstated.”
Recorder Simmonds imposed a restraining order, prohibiting Akhtar from contacting the victim indefinitely. He will also have to sign the sex offenders register.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Sarah Austin, of GMPs North Manchester district CID, said: “I’d like to thank the victim in this case for her immense bravery in deciding to come forward and support an investigation into Akhtar after all those years. The effect that sexual abuse can have upon a victim can be devastating and we need to make sure that anyone who commits these acts faces justice.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind any victims of sexual abuse who have not yet come forward, that we can help you, no matter how long ago the offenses happened, we will do all we can to support you.”
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