THE Imam found guilty on Friday of child sex abuse at his Black Country mosque has fled the country.

West Midlands Police confirmed Hifiz Rahman is no longer in the UK.

A spokesman said: “Hifiz Rahman absconded from the UK on Saturday, October 8 when it is believed he boarded a flight to Bangladesh.

“We are making urgent enquiries to try and arrange his return.

“He claimed to be too ill to attend his court hearing on Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 at Wolverhampton Crown Court, where he was convicted in his absence of sexually assaulting two girls.”

The court did not issue any warrant for Mr Rahman to be arrested or remanded following the guilty verdict and he was due to be summonsed for sentencing this week.

The spokesman added: “Officers visited him at home that evening to ensure he was complying with the previously imposed bail conditions of residing at the specified address, which he was.

“An ‘all ports warning’ information report was placed onto the Police National Computer advising that officers should be notified if he made any attempt to try and leave the country.”

The 58-year-old of Ballard Road, Netherton had denied seven charges involving indecent assault at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

But at the end of his five day trial the eight man- four woman reached unanimous guilty verdicts on five of the charges.