Manchester lie detector used in abuse case

A Manchester lie detector could have helped in a recent abuse case.

The case

A taxi driver plied two girls with alcohol and drugs then raped them in a terrifying campaign of abuse. Mohammed Saleem, 42, groomed the two girls who were aged 14 and 15 when he targeted them in the 1990s. Both victims were extremely vulnerable and “abused in the worst ways possible”.

The claims

Taxi driver Saleem, of Rochdale, met them both at a house of an older associate, Minshull Street Crown Court heard. He gave them lifts in his taxi and plied them with booze and cannabis before raping them, prosecutor Mark Kellet told the court.

Despite being married and having children, he went on to sexually, physically and mentally abuse one of the girls for more than 17 years. He even installed spyware on their computers to track their internet activity.

The hearing

Saleem was today jailed for 33 years after being found guilty of 31 offences.

“The victim was vulnerable due to the use of alcohol and drugs to facilitate the offences,” Mr Kellet said. He continued, “There were 16 offences of rape over an 18-year period. There was systematic abuse of the victim, who was targeted and exploited as an extremely vulnerable young child.”

In a victim personal statement read to the court, the first woman said: “I often reflect on how my childhood was full of abuse instead of love and protection. I feel ashamed by what happened. Coming to the stand in the court was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.”

The verdict

Following a six week trialin Manchester, Saleem was found guilty by a jury of 31 offences. Saleem was said to have no previous convictions. In mitigation, his barrister David Langwallner said: “There is an element of acceptance of a degree of responsibility.

“Looking at the issue of dangerousness in the context of intimate relationships, there is no doubt he was a danger to young girls 20 years ago, but there has not been any displays of that danger recently.

A predator

Sentencing, Judge Tina Landale said: “She was almost half your age when you spotted her and targeted her for a sexual relationship in which you exploited and manipulated her. You took away her freedom”.

Finding him to be a dangerous offender, Judge Landale added: “You are capable of deceiving those closest to you. You have no empathy at all or insight into the damage you have caused. You believe you are entitled to sex whenever you want.”

The outcome

Saleem, of Manchester, was jailed for 30 years with an extended licence period of three years. He will serve two thirds (20 years) in prison before being considered for release by the parole board. He was also made subject of the Sex Offenders Register for life and Sexual harm Prevention Order indefinitely.

How a lie detector could have helped the case

Police are now using polygraph testing upon arrest of sex abusers and offenders. Taking a lie detector test this early on in a case helps police rule out suspicions or to confirm suspects guilt. Police are also making regular polygraph testing part of release terms. This has meant communities that are concerned over the release of offenders into their community have peace of mind knowing that they are held accountable to regular polygraph tests. The police believe that this has helped reduce repeat offending dramatically. In Saleem’s case it is likely police would have picked up the abuser’s suspicious behaviour and been able to prosecute him much earlier than they did.

The Maggie Oliver Foundation offer free help and support for abuse victims, you can contact them here. If you suspect someone you know is at risk of sex abuse, book your test online today. You can also call us on our free helpline on 07572 748364.