Supporters of former Muslim minister protest outside court

Last updated: 29/04/2010 08:19

SUPPORTERS of a former Muslim minister at a prison near Burton who denies committing five sex offences against young boys pleaded his innocence outside court.

Mohammed Hanif Khan

Mohammed Hanif Khan

The supporters of Mohammed Hanif Khan watched in the public gallery as the 41-year-old denied the charges at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.

After he was granted bail they then took to the streets outside the courthouse and held up placards proclaiming the Imam’s innocence.

Khan, who worked with much recognition as the first Muslim minister at HMP Dovegate near Marchington, is charged with five offences against two young boys alleged to have occurred in Stoke last year.

He is accused of three counts of rape against a 13-year-old boy in the Tunstall area of Stoke between August and October last year.

He is further accused of the attempted rape of a 15-year-old boy between July 1 and July 31 last year and sexual activity with the same child between the same dates.

Khan appeared in court in traditional dress only to confirm his name and to deny all the charges. Judge Paul Glenn adjourned the case for a trial date to be fixed and allowed Khan to remain on bail.

Khan became the first ever full-time Islamic Minister in the history of the British Prison Service when he took on the role at Dovegate and collected a Butler Trust Award from Princess Anne for his work.

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