Paedophile jailed due to testimony from beyond grave from victim who took his own life
A former childrens home worker who sexually assaulted a boy of 15 was jailed for 18 years yesterday after his victim gave evidence from beyond the grave.
Vulnerable Aaron Leafe killed himself six weeks after reporting Anwar Ismail, 31, who worked at a children’s home where the boy lived.
Ismail groomed Aaron from the age of 12 and relentlessly pursued the child – even after being sacked for physically assaulting him.
Ismail (31) was found guilty on July 4 of two counts of sexual activity with a child, three of child abduction, a rape and sexual activity with a child, when Aaron was between 14 and 15, between 2009 and 2010.
In a 93-minute police interview played out in court, the teenager told officers how he was groomed from age 12.
On the tape Aaron said: “Anwar always pressured me into having sex with him.
“I didn’t want to do it. He gave me money. He got me a flat.
“He bought me cigarettes and cannabis. I was scared. I just did what I was told.”
His suicide note in 2010 said he could not get over the abuse.
At Leicester crown court Ismail, of Spinney Hills in the city, was convicted of seven counts of sexual assault.
Aaron’s mum said: “Justice has been done for Aaron but it’s bittersweet – because he’s not here to see it.”
Childrens home worker found guilty of raping vulnerable boy
A former children’s home worker has been found guilty of raping and sexually abusing a vulnerable boy in care.
Victim Aaron Leafe suffered months of prolonged abuse by Anwar Ismail, before going to the police, saying: “I just want it to stop.”
The traumatised 15-year-old committed suicide six weeks later.
A jury at Leicester Crown Court convicted Ismail (31) of seven charges and acquitted him of three other allegations.
Remanding him into custody to await the preparation of a pre-sentencing report, Judge Robert Brown told him to expect “a long sentence.”
During the trial, Aaron spoke from the grave when his 93-minute video account of what happened, recorded by the police, was played in court.
Aaron said on the tape: “Anwar always pressured me into having sex with him. I didn’t want to do it.
“He gave me money. He got me a flat. He let me drive his car.
“He bought me cigarettes and cannabis. I was scared of him. I just did what I was told. That’s why I did it.”
Prosecutor Mary Prior told the court Aaron took his own life in June 2010.
She said he left a note saying: “I can’t get over what happened with me and Anwar. I hate him so much.”
Ismail, of Matlock Street, Spinney Hill, Leicester, denied all the allegations.
Formerly a security guard, he became a care worker at Woodland Retreat children’s home, Chantry Lane, off Groby Road, Leicester, in 2007, where Aaron, then 12, was living.
Staff were concerned about their apparent closeness, but the defendant was acquitted of two counts of sexual activity with a child and attempting to rape him at the home.
Ismail was dismissed the following year for forcibly restraining Aaron, causing an arm injury.
He was convicted by the jury today of abusing Aaron after losing his job.
Contact continued privately between them after Aaron was moved to another children’s home, Duncanwood Lodge, near Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
Ismail drove from Leicester to meet him.
Aaron would climb out of his bedroom window at night to spend time with Ismail in his Audi in a secluded car park, just across the road from the home.
Giving evidence in his defence, Ismail said former colleagues who told the court he was “openly gay” at Woodland Retreat were wrong and that Aaron did not know he was gay.
He said he told Aaron he loved him, but only meant it in a caring way, not a sexual way.
He said he continued to see him to help him, because he was threatening suicide.
Ismail was found guilty of sexual activity with a child, rape and abducting a child in 2009 – when he took Aaron, then 14, to his home for three days.
He was also convicted of sexual activity with Aaron in a car in February 2010 and a specimen abduction count involving occasions spent alone together, between July 2009 and May 2010.
Ismail was found guilty of abducting him by taking him to a rented flat and sexual activity with a child, between March and April 2010.
He is due to be sentenced next month.
After the verdicts, Det Chief Insp Phil Brighouse, said: “Ismail took advantage of a vulnerable boy.
“He abused a position of trust and continued to abuse him over a number of months.
“This is a very sad case and there’s no good outcome.
“However, I am glad that the jury saw fit to find him guilty and hope that this verdict offers Aaron’s family and closest friends some form of closure.
“To successfully get a conviction in this case, when the main witnesses, the victim, is not alive to give evidence, is a tremendous achievement.
“Full credit must be given to the investigating officer Det Sgt Cat Partner, who I know has worked tirelessly to get Aaron justice.
“It has taken three years to get this case to court.
“It was an incredibly complex investigation requiring very detailed examination of all the evidence and documentation relating to Aaron’s life, because sadly, he wasn’t here to give evidence himself.
“We also have to thank the Barrister Mary Prior and the CPS for seeing the seriousness of the allegations and carrying forward what was always going to be an extremely difficult case to prosecute.”