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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 16:42 GMT
Sex attack restaurateur jailed
Mohammed Raza (picture by Paul Reid)
Mohammed Raza was sentenced to four years for sexual assault
A restaurant owner from Angus has been jailed for sexually assaulting six of his teenage waitresses.

Mohammed Raza, 50, was sentenced to four years in prison at Arbroath Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

He denied the attacks at his Carnoustie restaurant and accused the girls, the youngest of whom was 14, of "being liars" and conspiring against him.

Raza's business has since closed down and he was placed on the sex offenders' register for an indefinite period.

Throughout the trial, he accused the witnesses of fabricating the allegations after he claimed he had been given cause to berate them at the Benazir Restaurant in the town's High Street.

However, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all eight charges of sexual assault laid against him.

You abused your position of trust as an employer and were prepared to tell your counsel to accuse the girls of telling lies and that they were entering in a conspiracy against you
Sheriff Norrie Stein

The charges stated that between 24 September, 2003, and 30 November, 2004, Raza assaulted his young employees on various occasions.

In sentencing, Sheriff Norrie Stein told him: "You have been convicted by the jury of very serious sexual assaults on six young girls.

"The abuse continued over a year and it appears you do not accept responsibility despite the overwhelming evidence pointing towards you.

"You abused your position of trust as an employer and were prepared to tell your counsel to accuse the girls of telling lies and that they were entering in a conspiracy against you.

"We have not heard of the effect of these offences on the girls, but having heard the evidence, they will certainly have to live with the effect of what happened to them for the rest of their lives."

'Catastrophic results'

Earlier, Raza's defence counsel, Isabel Walker, told the court her client's life had been "destroyed" after he was found guilty of the sex attacks.

She said: "He is a long-established businessman of Dundee and because of this conviction, he cannot work in the restaurant trade again or hold a restaurant licence.

"He will never be in the position of running a business again.

"He has suffered nothing short of catastrophic results because of this conviction.

"His life has, in effect, been destroyed."




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