Victim was spared jail sentence and judge offered to pay court fine
A JUDGE has offered to pay a 15-year-old girl’s court fine after hearing she had stabbed a paedophile who abused her as a child.
The teen knifed 56-year-old Zabhullah Boota, who sexually assaulted her when she was eight-years-old, plunging a blade through his chest.
She carried out the attack on her abuser’s doorstep last year – six years after he walked away from court for assaulting her as a child.
Boota was handed a community order at Bradford Crown Court in November 2010.
The court heard that he was convicted of sexual assault and inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
But despite the effect on the victim, Boota – then 51 and reportedly with an educational age of ten – was not jailed.
The teenaged victim felt let down by the justice system after he walked free from court, it was said.
Sparing her jail at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC refused to impose a mandatory victim surcharge.
And he told her: “If anyone tries to force you, I will pay it myself.”
The girl was 14 when she armed herself with a knife and stabbed the tormentor who had destroyed her life, the court heard.
Judge Durham Hall told the schoolgirl: “It would be a disgrace to send a survivor like you to prison.”
The girl – who cannot be identified – took a kitchen knife and went round to Boota’s home in Bradford, West Yorks, in November.
She told him: “I am going to kill you,” before plunging the blade into him in front of his two young children.
Boota – whose artery supplying blood away from his heart had been cut – was saved by paramedics and surgeons. He was in intensive care and needed a blood transfusion.
After stabbing her abuser, the girl hugged her aunt, said: “Tell my mum I love her,” and handed herself in at Trafalgar House Police station, in Bradford city centre.
She said: “I’ve killed someone,” and immediately confessed to what she had done.
The teenager was originally charged with attempted murder but the Crown accepted her plea of guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Miss Gilmore said the girl had been “entirely destroyed” when Boota was not jailed for sexually assaulting her and inciting her to engage in sexual activity.
He was given a community order after she had to give evidence at his trial because he denied the offences.
Afterwards, she was paranoid he was “going to get her.”
The girl was later excluded from school for poor behaviour. She feared she would never get a husband and she lived her life in a bad dream, the court heard.
Boota was left in constant pain from the wound, permanently scarred and his children had been affected, the court heard.
Elyas Patel, the girl’s barrister, said: “Rightly or wrongly, this 15-year-old felt that the justice system had let her down.
“With Your Honour at the wheel, the justice system will not fail her today.”
Mr Patel went on: “She was left deeply troubled and scarred. She acted in a few moments of despair and desperation.
“This is an exceptional case which requires an exceptional course. This deeply troubled and damaged child, bedevilled by low self-esteem, is crying out for help.”
Judge Durham Hall sentenced the girl to a two year Youth Rehabilitation Order with supervision.
He told her: “You stabbed him in the region of his heart. Mercifully, you did not kill him.
“He was saved by excellent medical intervention and has made a pretty full recovery.”
The judge continued: “Why did you stab this man? Because when you were eight in 2009 he committed serious sexual offences against you.
“He was treated by the courts, with hindsight, somewhat leniently but things have changed. Now there is condign punishment in cases of this nature, in accordance with the guidelines.”
In 2010, Boota was sentenced to a community order with two years’ supervision and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.
He was made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which includes a condition banning him from having any contact with the young victim.
Recorder Nolan considered imposing a residence order requiring him to live somewhere other than his home because his victim still lived in the neighbourhood.
But – despite the judge’s beliefs that Boota was being evicted from his home in Bradford anyway – six years on, he was still living in the same house.
At the time, recorder Nolan said: “I’m satisfied the assault was over a short period of time and I am satisfied it was a relatively minor sexual assault but any assault of a child is bound to be serious and this court must take this offence seriously as well.
“Were you of full intelligence and physically fit, I would be considering a period of imprisonment, but undoubtedly this offence is mitigated by the fact you have very severe learning difficulties and a number of physical disabilities.
Speaking after the 2010 court hearing the girl’s mother – who cannot be named to protect her child’s identity – said: “How could that happen?
“A child gets attacked and the judge gives him a community order. He’s a paedophile, where is the justice in that?”