A CHILD sexual abuser who ‘ruined’ the lives of his three victims was described by one as a ‘wretched creature’ as he was jailed for 23 years today.

Hafiz Fazal went on trial accused of 17 counts of abuse from when he was a teacher at a mosque in the 1990s. And this week the jury found the 66-year-old guilty of 14 of these offences.

He was convicted of six counts of indecent assault against the first, seven charges of rape against the second and one single count of indecent assault against the third.

The jury found him not guilty of three charges of rape against the second complainant – all of which alleged he had carried out the act on no fewer than 10 occasions between various time periods.

The charges he was found guilty of meant he began his campaign of abuse against the first two complainants when they were seven years old.

Fazal appeared in Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to be sentenced for the offences.

Prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC read from three personal statements written by the victims this week.

The first said: “My innocence was stolen from me and the freedom of a carefree childhood.”

It said he had a bad experience with Covid and was hospitalised, and when he feared he was going to die he said: “I identified my regrets in life. One of the most personal was believing I had died and I had not had my day in court and no exposed the defendant for the wretched creature he is.”

It also said he had struggled to form relationships, suffered PTSD and had attempted twice to take his own life.

The second said: “I was given a life sentence of pain and anguish. He is a wholly disgusting man who has ruined my life, he is a danger to society.”

Representing Fazal, of New Earth Street in Oldham, defence counsel Nick Flanagan said his client was in poor health and likely to die serving the resulting prison sentence. He said: “There is no evidence or even suggestion that there has been any further offending of this kind since August of 1996.”

Sentencing, Judge Mark Ford QC said: “The bravery of the three complainants in speaking to the police and giving evidence before the court is to be commended.

"It is not easy to disclose memories of this sort.”

He said the fact Fazal had pleaded not guilty and gone to trial showed he had no remorse.

He jailed Fazal for 23 years, with 17 years for the rapes, four years for the indecent assaults on the first complainant and a single year for the indecent assault on the final complainant.

He added a year as he was an offender of particular concern.

He also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for life and barred from working with children.

The judge said: “I have taken into account so far as I can your age and relatively ill health, but I cannot overlook the gravity of your offending, the persistence of the abuse or the devastating impact of your conduct against your victims.”

Fazal sat with his face down as the sentence was read out before he was taken out of the dock.