Religious mum sexually assaulted victims by playing princes and princesses

A church-going mother has been jailed for nearly two years after she was found to have sexually abused children when she was a teenager.

Selina Sharafi, 37, would play princes and princesses with her victims to target them and was described at Newcastle Crown Court as being a sexual predator. When one of her victims came forward, she set up 11 fake Facebook accounts to troll them and send abusive and cruel messages.

She continues to deny the allegations against her but was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault. Sharafi was under the age of 14 when she carried out the attacks, but prosecutor Paul Cleasby argued that she still posed a risk.

One victim described the the abuse they suffered at the time when they were children and more recently when they were abused online. They said: ‘She would frequently message me from fake Facebook accounts. She would pretend to be people I know, saying she had heard about the accusations, saying I was weird and sick and no-one liked me or believed me.’

The other victim said in her statement: ‘She took away my worth, privacy, time, safety, intimacy, confidence, my own voice – until today. She has no idea how hard I have worked to rebuild parts of me that are still weak.

‘What she did doesn’t expire, it doesn’t just go away after a set number of years.

‘It stays with me, it is part of my permanent identity. It has forever changed the way I carry myself and the way I live the rest of my life.’

Prosecutor Mr cCleasby said: ‘The defendant continues to deny her offending. The risk, say the prosecution, is still evident.’

Judge Robert Adams jailed Sharafi for 20 months and said she must sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

The judge made a restraining order to keep Sharafi away from her victims for life.

Judge Adams said the case was ‘very unusual’ and told Sharafi: ‘It is suggested you gained pleasure from what took place and preyed on their vulnerability. To an extent that must be right.’

The judge added: ‘I have no doubt that as an adult you have not re-offended in any way like this and have led a fairly constructive and sensible life since the age of 18.’

Deborah Smithies, defending, had urged the judge to suspend the prison sentence and said Sharafi had a troubled early life.

Miss Smithies said: ‘It is necessary and proportionate to punish Selina Sharafi now with custody, for what she started doing as a child and continued doing as a teenager, to remove her from her family now and send her to immediate custody?

‘My simple submission is the effect of that would be to heap misery on misery and achieve nothing constructive.’

Miss Smithies added: ‘While she accepts the verdicts returned against her by the jury, she maintains her denial of this offending.’