Daily Dispatch

Shopkeeper gets four years for sexual assault on 11-year-old pupil


SHOPKEEPER Hossain Rubel was sentenced to a four-year prison term by the East London Regional Court for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old George Randell Primary School pupil in 2014.

The 28-year-old had earlier pleaded not guilty to groping the girl, who had visited his shop to buy sweets during a class break on November 12 2014.

Handing down judgment yesterday, magistrate Ignatius Kitching described the convicted paedophile’s action as despicable and outrageous.

Kitching dismissed Rubel’s testimony in favour of the testimony of the victim and teachers who had attended to her shortly after the ordeal.

During the trial, the young girl testified that she had gone to Rubel’s tuck shop outside the school to buy sweets.

She said as soon as she entered the shop, Rubel walked out from behind the counter, closed the door and grabbed her.

She told the court that Rubel used one hand to squeeze her from behind, while using another hand to squeeze her breasts.

He had also attempted to kiss her but she fended him off, the court heard.

The young girl said she then burst out of the tuckshop crying and ran back to the school, where she reported the incident to her teachers.

One school teacher testified that when they went to investigat­e they found the tuckshop closed, with no one inside.

Rubel denied the girl’s testimony and told the court that the young girl had come to his shop with a group of friends and started asking him many questions about the prices of his goods in his shop.

He said he got annoyed and chased them out of the shop.

In his sentencing remarks, magistrate Kitching said: “You have been found guilty of sexual assault and I have rejected your version that she had been making a noise.

“You wanted to try your luck with this young girl. “She was extremely young and after closing the door you thought she was not going to resist.

“When you realised she was going to cause trouble for you, you released her and threatened her.

“It was a despicable and outrageous act to assault a young girl who came to your shop to buy a few sweets.

“I have considered a suspended sentence but in this case it would be too lenient.

“I don’t know how long you have been in this country but you must have heard about many campaigns by civil society groups campaignin­g for the safety of women and children,” Kitching said.

He then sentenced Rubel to four years’ imprisonme­nt and ordered that he be disqualifi­ed from owning a firearm in the future.

State prosecutor Bonginkosi Mafa also requested that Kitching make an order that Rubel’s name be added to the list of sexual offenders.

The order was granted. —


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa