August 2018

Respected member of Swansea’s Muslim community systematically abused two girls

A respected member of Swansea’s Muslim community carried out a sustained and systematic campaign of sexual abuse against two young girls.

Mohammad Abedean drove one of his victims to self-harm and left her feeling “like damaged goods”.

Swansea Crown Court heard the case had caused a division in the local Muslim community between supporters of 62-year-old Abedean and those who sided with his victims.

Abedean, of Page Street in Swansea city centre, was convicted of 14 counts of sexual assault and assault by penetration following a trial.

The years of abuse only came to light when one of the victims ran away from home, leaving a letter behind.

Though the letter did not name her abuser she talked about having to get away from the person who was hurting her before she took her own life.

The letter also said she had not told anyone about what had been happening because she did not feel anyone would believe her or be able to help her.

She also said she had felt unable to go to the police because if the abuse had become known within the community “it would ruin the family, and I cannot do that”.

After her disappearance police did become involved and a second victim was also identified.

Helen Randall, prosecuting, read details of an impact statement from one of Abedean’s victims in which she said the abuse had profoundly affected her and her family, leaving her with difficulties forming relationships and suffering with insomnia, nightmares, and periods of self-harming.

She said the abuse had made her feel dirty in her own skin, and “like damaged goods”, and had resulted in her being shunned by other members of the Muslim community.

The second victim said her experiences at the hands of Abedean had left her fearful of older men and had impacted on her education and jeopardised her career ambitions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Abedean he had stood the witness box and essentially accused his accusers of fabricating all the allegations.

He said Abedean’s respected status had “protected” him for years until the letter from one of his victims was written and found.

The judge added it was “sad to say the least” that in the community in which Abedean lived the victims of child abuse were seen as “forever more tainted”.

Abedean was given a 14-year sentence comprising 13 years in prison with a one-year extended licence as an offender of particular concern.

He was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.