November 2019

Primark guard forced child shoplifters into back-room sex abuse

A security guard who made teenage shoplifters perform sexual acts on him 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.

The 27-year-old, who was employed by Brooknight Security, was caught out in after a complaint was made about him and police were called in. He also failed to fill out the correct incident report paperwork in shoplifting situations and asked colleagues to delete CCTV footage.

He was also known to keep condoms in the control room.

Following a trial, Uddin was found guilty on Friday, November 8 of one count of rape, three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. He was sentenced yesterday (Tuesday, November 19).

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.

One victim said she only did as Uddin asked because “there was no other choice” and it was the only way out of the situation.

Graham Partridge, from the CPS, said: “Zia Uddin preyed on young girls in a vulnerable situation.

“He abused his authority by telling them to perform sexual acts for him on the promise that they would then be released without their parents or the police being informed about what they had done.

“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.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Uddin was also barred from working with children and vulnerable adults, and must remain on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Kingston Primark guard forced child shoplifters into back-room sex abuse

A Primark security guard is facing jail for forcing teenage girls to perform sexual acts in return for not reporting their shoplifting.

Zia Uddin, 27, raped one 15-year-old girl and pressured three others into sex acts after he caught them stealing from the clothing chain’s Kingston branch.

When the victims were caught shoplifting in 2017 they apologised, offered to pay for the goods and said they would not return to the store, a court heard.

But Uddin took them off the shop floor and threatened to call their parents and police, saying he would let them go only if they gave in to his demands.

They were told they would be arrested and left with criminal records unless they performed sex acts, the jury at Kingston crown court heard. In an interview one victim said she did what Uddin asked because she felt it was the only way out.

Uddin was employed by 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, such as not filling out shoplifting reports, asking for CCTV to be deleted and keeping condoms in the store’s control room.

Graham Partridge, of the CPS, said Uddin “preyed on young girls in a vulnerable situation. He abused his authority by telling them to perform sexual acts for him on the promise that they would then be released without their parents or the police being informed about what they had done.

“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.

The prosecution case was able to rely on strong witness testimony from the victims. Telephone evidence also showed that Uddin made a number of personal phone calls to other girls accused of shoplifting after acquiring their numbers through the incidents.

“During the trial Uddin claimed all the victims were liars and refused to take responsibility for his actions.”

Uddin, of Manor Park, Newham, was convicted of one count of rape and four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He is due to be sentenced next Tuesday.