A Primark security guard who forced teenage girls into performing sex acts so they would escape a shoplifting charge has been jailed for 14 years. Zia Uddin, of First Avenue, Manor Park, targeted his 15-year-old victims while he was working at the Kingston branch of Primark.
Kingston Crown Court heard how he told four girls he caught shoplifting from the store that they would get criminal records, their parents would be informed and they would be detained for some time unless they carried out the sexual acts. Uddin, 27, raped one 15-year-old schoolgirl and pressured three others into sex acts after he caught them stealing from the budget clothing chain’s Kingston branch.
In an interview one victim said she did what Uddin asked because “there was no other choice” and she felt it was the only way out.
Uddin was employed by contractor Brooknight Security and had worked in Primark’s Stratford store before being transferred to the revamped Kingston branch.
Police were called after colleagues noticed his strange behaviour, which included not filling out shoplifting reports, asking for CCTV to be deleted and keeping condoms in the store’s control room.
The court was told how his young victims desperately offered to pay for the items they had stolen, suggested they could work in the store to make amends or would never come back again. But Uddin made it clear to them he was only interested in sexual acts.
Graham Partridge, from the CPS, said: "Zia Uddin preyed on young girls in a vulnerable situation. . .Having worked in security, Uddin was also well aware of the CCTV camera 'blind spots' and took advantage of these in order to carry out his offending."
He added: "The prosecution case was able to rely on strong witness testimony from the victims who were able to give evidence via pre-recorded video after the CPS applied for special measures. Telephone evidence also showed that Uddin had made a number of personal phone calls to other girls accused of shoplifting after acquiring their phone numbers through the incidents.
"During the trial Uddin claimed all the victims were liars and refused to take responsibility for his actions."
Uddin was found guilty of one count of rape and four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity following a trial at Kingston Crown Court, which concluded on Friday, November 8.
He has also received a life-long ban from working with children.
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