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  1. ITV Report

Mosque teacher escapes jail after bullying children

Irfan Patel received a suspended sentence at Preston Crown Court. Photo: ITV Granada

A man who taught at a mosque in Lancashire has escaped jail for several offences of cruelty to young boys.

Irfan Patel, 33, admitted carrying out a tough disciplinary regime. He was given a 40 week sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, said: “Irfan Patel was in a position of trust to the children in his class and his actions went far beyond what was acceptable in disciplining those in his care.

“His treatment of the children to whom he was supposed to be providing spiritual teaching and guidance amounted to systematic bullying.

“They were very young boys who should have expected to be safe when they attended classes at the mosque.

“The punishment that Irfan Patel used was not appropriate chastisement, it was assault and bullying and it is a crime.

“I hope that this case and other convictions of teachers for assaulting pupils in mosques will give young people and their parents the confidence to report this sort of bullying and ill treatment.

“I hope it will also serve as a reminder to others who are using similar punishments that we will prosecute where the police refer evidence to us of assaults or ill treatment of children, wherever it happens.”