Raheelah Dar, 43, has been convicted of three counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child and jailed for seven years.

raheela dar1

She had denied all charges against her but was found guilty after overwhelming evidence against her at a trial in June.

The court had heard how Dar started to abuse the young girl, who was only nine at the time, after being confused about her own sexuality when she moved back in with her parents in Middlesbrough after the breakup of her marriage.

She gradually groomed the girl by making her comfortable around her by stroking her hair and telling her she was ‘special.’

She alter kissed the girl, talked about sex, undressed in front of her and made her kiss a boy and later committed more serious assaults once she felt that the young girl would not tell anyone.

The young girl was told to keep the assaults a secret and made to believe it was her fault.

The victim, who is now in her early 20s, only went to the police after randomly bumping into Dar last year which meant ‘the memories came flooding back’.

Dar’s defence lawyer, Alison Pryor, had asked the court not to jail her because her community had already shunned her.

Ms Pryor said: ‘The shame that this has brought and will bring upon Miss Dar and her family cannot be underestimated.’

‘This is different from what you would find in another case of this type. That is punishment over and above what this court can impose.’

Ms Pryor also told the court that Dar had suffered from mental health issues and bi-polar disorder and the problems worsened after the death of one of her daughters in 2008 and later when her marriage failed.

She said: ‘Miss Dar was a person of good character and has no previous convictions.’

‘She suffered from a failed marriage which involved domestic abuse and very sadly, a baby girl born during the course of that marriage in 2006 had a severe disorder and passed away at the age of two.’

But the court did not accept that the punishment should be lessened because of her being shunned by her community and she was jailed for seven years.

Recorder Roberts said: ‘You took her under your wing and that may at first have been a generous consideration on your part but very soon you targeted her as a victim because she was vulnerable.

‘You used this opportunity to corrupt her and to turn her against normal relationships between boys and girls in favour of the sexual relationship for which you were preparing her to have with yourself.’

He told the court Dar had accepted that she was confused about her own sexuality and told her: ‘You were experimenting on this innocent, small child as you sought to resolve your own internal conflicts.’

The victim bravely stood in the witness stand to read her victim impact statement, she said: ‘As a result of the abuse I suffered as a child, I have been left feeling isolated and unable to engage with people.

‘I find it very difficult to trust anybody. Physical contact such as a simple hug can bring on severe panic attacks.’

‘I love my family immensely but I was unable to relate to them because they didn’t know what I had suffered.

‘I felt isolated from the community I was brought up in as the topic of child abuse is taboo and is kept behind closed doors. I was left feeling segregated.’