'Asian Children Suffer More in Sex Abuse Than White Children'
outlookindia 2015-09-18 16:30

A UK court has upheld the seven-year prison sentence of a paedophile who abused two Asian girls, ruling that Asian sex crime victims suffer more than white children, prompting fears among child-right activists that the judgement could create a "hierarchy" of victims.

Justice Walker said it was proper for paedophile Jamal Muhammed Raheem Ul Nasir to have been given a tougher than normal sentence because his victims were Asian.

"The victims' fathers were concerned about the future marriage prospects for their daughters... That harm was aggravated by the impact on the victims and their families within this particular community," he said at London's Criminal Appeal Court yesterday.

Ul Nasir carried out sex attacks on two young girls and was jailed for seven years at Leeds Crown Court in December last year.

He was convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

Lawyers for the 32-year-old had argued that his sentence had been unfairly inflated.

The judge who had jailed him last year, Sally Cahill, had also specifically said that the fact the victims were Asian had been factored in as an "aggravating feature" when passing sentence.

She said the victims and their families had suffered particular "shame" in their communities because of what had happened to them.

Justice Walker, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Justice Mitting, concluded: "There is no basis for saying that Judge Cahill adopted an incorrect starting point. This application for leave to appeal against sentence must be refused."

However, there was outrage among children's charities who felt it made white children more vulnerable to abuse.

"British justice should operate on a level playing field and children need to be protected irrespective of cultural differences. Regardless of race, religion, or gender, every child deserves the right to be safe and protected from sexual abuse, and the courts must reflect this.

"It is vital that those who commit these hideous crimes are punished to the full limit of the law," said a spokesperson for the NSPCC child protection charity.

"There cannot be any suggestion that there is a hierarchy of victims. It is wrong to categorise victims like this," said Peter Saunders, member of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood.

However, UK's Sentencing Council, which offers guidelines to judges, claimed that the ruling was consistent with its guidelines because it took into account the effect on the victim.

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