A VICTIM has hit out at claims a religious leader who fled the country after carrying out sex attacks on her as a child at a Dudley mosque has died.

Imam Hafiz Rahman was convicted of five counts of indecent assault on Nabila Sharma - not her real name - and another girl at Queens Cross Mosque in Dudley and was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in jail.

But he went on the run and fled to Bangladesh after being found guilty of repeatedly assaulting the girls, who were under ten years old at the time, at Wolverhampton Crown Court in 2016 and has never returned to serve his sentence.

His victim Nabila said his family now claim he is dead and police are investigating the claim - but she does not believe it.

She fears he intends to return to the area where he has a large family of seven children and ten grandchildren.

He lived at Ballard Road, Netherton, prior to his disappearance. He was 58 in 2016 when he fled and is now in his 60s.

The 45-year-old, who has since rebuilt her life and is married with one child, said: "I don't believe for one second he's dead.

"His family claimed they had not seen or spoken to him since he fled - so how do they now know that he's dead?

"I think he's faked his own death to come back to the UK because he's stupid enough to do that."

Nabila said she has not given up on one day finally getting justice.

She said: "It's never ending.

"Sometimes you wonder why you bothered coming forward - but I'm glad I did because that gave another victim the courage to come forward as well.

"I need it to be over and for him to be brought to justice. He has absolutely no conscience over what he did.

"If anyone knows where he is or has any information, please call the police.

"I always believe one day I will get that phone call saying "we have got him."

Pic: Queens Cross Mosque. Pic: Google

Pic: Queens Cross Mosque. Pic: Google

Nabila fears he has been abusing other girls during his time in Bangladesh.

He sexually assaulted the two girls after they went to Queens Cross Mosque for religious studies.

The Imam, described as being "treated like royalty" by the Muslim community, left both victims psychologically damaged by his actions.

Nabila says he owned a mosque in Cradley Heath, and was at this mosque at the time of his arrest.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We have received information that the absconded offender has died in Bangladesh.

"We are making enquiries with the Foreign Office and Bangladeshi authorities to confirm the accuracy of this information."