A man accused of sexual abuse against three children while he was working at a Mosque told police he had pulled one child’s trousers down – but has said the devil was within him at the time.

Hafiz Fazal in on trial at the Lowry in Salford, operating as a nightingale court during the pandemic, where he is accused of a string of charges relating to his time as a teacher between February 1993 and August 1996.

Against the first complainant he faces a total of six charges of indecent assault including that he grabbed and squeezed his chest.

And against the second complainant he faces multiple charges of rape, with the man telling the jury this took place “two to three times a week” for two years.

Fazal is said to have carried out a single indecent assault against the final complainant.

And yesterday the 66-year-old took to the stand to give his account.

Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC probed him about a partial confession he gave to the police, where he said he had taken the first complainant into his office, pulled his trousers down and thrust his body against his.

He initially said he was scared of the police as he had never been to a police station.

Fazal then said the police had not threatened him, but he was still scared.

Mr Tehrani asked: “No one is threatening you, why did you tell the police that you pulled his trousers down and rubbed yourself against him?”

Fazal said: “I got under the influence of Satan and the devil.”

He was later asked what the devil was telling him to do.

He said: “Satan does not come from outside, he does whatever he has to do from inside.”

Mr Tehrani later asked if he was sexually aroused when he had the first complainant in the office.

Fazal said: “No.”

Fazal was then pointed to a later interview where he had said he had intended to touch genitalia but said “god saved me.”

He was probed about this and said: “I had no intention, I had no plan, Satan comes in you, that is how it happened.”

When asked how long the devil had urged him to pull the boy’s trousers down he said: “Not before that just that one second.”

Mr Tehrani asked: “It must have been for longer than a second, you had to take the boy from the classroom.”

Fazal said: “If somebody steals something it doesn’t take long, it is like that.”

While the prosecutor was between questions, Fazal shouted out that he had been “famed” and said “I have heard in England you get justice here, where is the justice?”

He began crying in the dock after this.

Fazal, of New Earth Street in Oldham, denies the charges against him.

The trial before Judge Mark Ford QC, continues.