Primark guard guilty of raping teenage girl he accused of shoplifting

Kingston Primark store

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Zia Uddin knew where the “blind spots” were on the Kington branch’s CCTV

A Primark security guard has been found guilty of rape after he sexually exploited teenage girls he accused of shoplifting.

Zia Uddin, 27, assaulted four 15-year-old girls while working in the Kingston store in 2017.

He threatened the teenagers with calling the police and their parents if they did not perform sexual acts on him in the control room of the store.

Uddin was also found guilty of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Kingston Crown Court heard how his 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.

Once detained, some victims offered to pay for the items they had stolen, suggested they could work in the store to make amends, or even never enter the shop again.

However, once alone in the back office, Uddin made clear he was only interested in sexual acts in exchange for letting them go.

‘Abused authority’

The court heard one girl only did as he asked because “there was no other choice” and it was the only way out of the situation.

Graham Partridge, of the Crown Prosecution Service, 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 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.”

‘Horrendous ordeal’

He added that Uddin claimed all the victims were liars and refused to take responsibility for his actions.

He will be sentenced next Tuesday.

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.”

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