A judge has told a ‘wicked’ child abuser that his victim, who he had tried to brand a liar, was ‘a courageous woman’ of whom her family and the wider community should feel proud.
The judge made his comments after a jury at Warwick Crown Court took just 57 minutes to find Rashid Limalia guilty of seven charges of raping his victim and one of indecently assaulting her.
Limalia (73) of Shetland Road, Leicester, was jailed for 20 years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
But as what is known as ‘a person of particular concern,’ instead of being freed after serving half of the sentence, he will only be released if the Parole Board considers it safe to do so, and will be on licence for an extra year after the 20-year period.
Prosecutor Robert Price said Limalia had sexually abused and raped the girl when he was in his 30’s, but she had ‘chosen to carry the burden’ of her ordeal until two years ago
Limalia had been trusted by the girl’s parents, who lived in Coventry, but he took the opportunity when he was alone with her to touch her in ways which ‘slowly and insidiously became increasingly serious.’
The first time he progressed to raping her was after his neighbours in Nuneaton, where he was living at the time, had gone to India and had given him a key and asked him to keep an eye on their home.
One day he suggested that the girl, who was then aged 10 or 11, go with him to check the house.
“Once inside he said he wanted to check things upstairs, and took her upstairs with him and pushed her onto the bed.
“There was a rope in that room, and he tied her with that rope, and he pulled her trousers and her underwear down and put something in her mouth to gag her, and then he raped her.”
Afterwards Limalia told her that if she spoke out, nobody would believe her, and she was too frightened to tell anyone what had happened.
After that, he would pick her up in his car, in which he had a secret stash of condoms hidden in the headrest, and drive her to various locations where he raped her on further occasions.
They included secluded laybys between Coventry and Nuneaton, an industrial estate off the A5, a car park close to the engineering firm where he worked and Camp Hill quarry in Nuneaton.
As she got older her visited her and told her he wanted it to carry on, but by then she had the strength to tell him no.
After she finally decided to go to the police some years later, Limalia was arrested and said that ‘one percent’ of what she had said was true, but that the rest was lies – and he denied sexually assaulting or raping her.
As Limalia continued to brand her a liar in court, he claimed he kept the condoms hidden in the car to use when he saw other women, because he did not want his wife to find them, and denied any sexual activity with the girl.
After the jury’s unanimous verdicts, a statement from his victim was read in court, in which she described the effects it had had on her, but ended: “I want Your Honour to know, and I want the defendant to know, his despicable actions did not break me.”
Observing that ‘no faith group is immune from this sort of behaviour,’ Judge Peter Cooke commented: “The Muslim community should feel gratitude to her for speaking out.”
Amy Jackson, defending, conceded: “There is little or no mitigation. He is 73 years old, and this sentence means he will spend most, if not all, of the rest of his life in prison.”
Jailing Limalia, Judge Cooke told him: “You were only in your 30s when you began to do this, and you have acquired neither a conviction nor a caution until today.
“But we now know that any description of you as a person of good character is a million miles from the truth. You committed horrific offences in your 30s, and only now in your 70s is your past catching up with you.
“Far from showing an ounce of remorse, you have set out to portray her as a spiteful and devious liar.
“She is nothing of the sort, she is a courageous woman of whom her family and the wider community should feel proud.
“You did this in your 30s, and you begin to pay for it in your 70s, and will continue to pay for it into your 80s. That is only right, you are a wicked man.”