Former sports coach at public school in Horsham gets 10-year sentence for sex offences against pupils
A former sports coach at a Sussex public school has been given a 10-year prison sentence for a series of sexual offences against girls who were pupils there.
Ajaz Karim, 63, of Baron's Court Road, London, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (9 August) for nine counts of indecent assault and one of attempted indecent assault against six girls aged 14 to 18, between 1985 and 1993 at Christ's Hospital School near Horsham.
He had been convicted on 13 April, following a two-week trial at Hove Crown Court and was remanded in custody for sentencing.
He will be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court notice, severely restricting his access to young people.
The prosecution followed an investigation by detectives from the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit who arrested Karim in June 2016 after officers had received information for the first time earlier that year.
Detective Sergeant Karrie Bohanna said: "All the complainants were pupils of school age and some did not appreciate at the time of the touching, that it amounted to indecent assault, despite each of them stating that they felt extremely uncomfortable when the touching took place. It was clear that Karim used his position as a member of staff and his role as a sports teacher to use massage as a subterfuge for sexual touching.
"Karim said he practised an alternative therapy on pupils called the Bowen Technique and was teaching the students breathing exercises to help when playing sports and claimed there was nothing sexual involved but admitted he had no qualifications for the practice.
"He told the jury that his relationships with pupils was one of friendship only, but they clearly saw through his lies.
"We are glad that the six victims, who had the courage to come forward even after all this time, have now seen him face justice."
Sussex Police has had full co-operation from management at the school throughout this investigation.