August 2016

Woman jailed for seven years for sexual assaults on underage girl


A WOMAN who carried out a string of sexual assaults on an underage girl was jailed for seven years as a judge branded her “crafty” and said: “She was an innocent.”

Raheelah Dar sat emotionless in the dock as Recorder Tim Roberts, QC, told her she will not automatically be freed at the usual half-way point of a prison sentence.

Twice-married Dar was supported by members of the community in the packed public gallery at Teesside Crown Court as the 43-year-old was locked up

Mr Recorder Roberts said she will be released when the Parole Board considers it safe to do so, as two of her crimes made her “an offender of particular concern”.

Dar, of Central Mews, Middlesbrough, was found guilty after a re-trial in June during which her shattered victim spoke movingly of the impact the abuse has had on.

She was accused of isolating, manipulating and molesting the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and gradually grooming telling her that she was special.

The court heard she kissed the girl, made sexual conversation, undressed in front of her and got her to kiss a boy, escalating to more intimate sexual assaults.

Reading from a victim personal statement in the witness box, she said she has suffered worsening flashbacks and anxiety attacks, and dreads personal contact.

She told how the court process after she made her “brave” disclosures – the first one in November last year – had been “unbearable” and brought her ordeal back.

Alison Pryor, mitigating, said the shame her convictions had brought on Dar and her family would possibly be harder to bear for them than a prison sentence.

Miss Pryor provided a big bundle of references which spoke highly of the defendant, and said two failed marriages and the death of a daughter in 2008 had left her with fragile mental health.

Dar was convicted of three charges of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child, and was also put on the sex offenders’s register indefinitely.

The judge told her she would also be banned from working with children for life, and said: “I’m satisfied on the evidence that you targeted her because she was vulnerable.

“I have heard sworn evidence in the course of a trial, that you are ordinarily person of exceptional good character, and you are someone who has coped with the various hardships life has visited upon you with dignity, composure and a fair degree of consideration to others.

“But you are to be sentenced for exceptionally serious offences. You embroiled her in deceit and pretence to hide your offending.”