A high-street store security guard who forced teenage girls into performing sex acts so they would escape shoplifting charges has been jailed for 14 years.
27-year-old Zia Uddin, who worked at Primark, raped one 15-year-old schoolgirl and pressured three others into sex acts after he accused them stealing from the budget clothing chain’s Kingston branch.
When the young victims were caught shoplifting in 2017 they desperately apologised, offered to pay for the goods and said they would never return to the shop, the court previously heard.
But Uddin took them off the shop floor and threatened to call the police and their parents, telling them he would only let them go is if they gave in to his demands.
The children were told they would be arrested and have criminal records unless they performed sex acts for him, jurors heard.
Uddin was convicted of one count of rape and four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activit following a trial at Kingston Crown Court.
He has also received a life-long ban from working with children.
The Court heard Uddin’s colleagues had noticed his strange behaviour, which included making requests to delete CCTV, and not properly completing paperwork on shoplifting.
He was also known to keep condoms in the control room, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
Uddin was employed by contractor Brooknight Security and had worked in Primark’s Stratford store before being transferred to the revamped Kingston branch.
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 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 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.”
A spokeswoman for Primark said: “This has been a horrendous ordeal for the victims and their families and we are truly sorry for what they have suffered. Our thoughts are very much with them.
“The nature of these offences is shocking and distressing.
“Zia Uddin abused the trust that was placed in him by his employer, Brooknight Security, and by us, by taking advantage of his victims, who were young and vulnerable.”