June 2016

Paedophile jailed for 10 years at Luton Crown Court in groundbreaking trial


AN elderly paedophile has made history by becoming the first person in the UK to stand trial – from his own home.

Farouk Kootbaully, 71, took the stand via a video-link to face eight charges of historic indecent assaults on a young girl.

Doctors had ruled he was too ill and frail to physically attend the trial at Luton Crown Court, Bedfordshire.

But they found no impairment of intellectual faculty and said he was well enough to stand trial for the offences committed between April 1998 and August 2001.

Kootbaully appeared before the court via a video-link from his home in the town for a trial last month and was convicted by unanimous verdicts on all eight counts.

Following the verdict on May 5, Bedfordshire Police transferred him into custody from his home address to HMP Bedford.

The court heard the abuse started when the victim was aged just eight and she was subjected to his sickening actions over three years, including being touched indecently on numerous occasions.

At Luton Crown Court on Thursday, he was handed sentences to serve concurrently on all eight charges, totalling 10 years behind bars.

He was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and restraining order.

Speaking after sentencing, Investigating Officer Detective Constable Sharon Ellis, said: “This case is the first time in the whole of the UK that Assistive Technology has been used to enable a defendant to attend trial via his home address, with the courts providing temporary internet access to his home and fitting a live-link facility from his bed.

“This could well set a precedent for other courts in the UK in similar circumstances.”