By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:30 PM on 23rd September 2010
A Libyan imam has been jailed in Britain after indecently exposing himself twice in a park – including to a 12-year-old girl.
Abrahim Ghait, who was invited to Britain to celebrate Ramadan, exposed himself to a 28-year-old woman as she made her way home from the gym.
Three days later he repeated the offence in front of a 12-year-old girl – telling her his genitalia was named ‘Lexie’.
Ghait is famous in the Muslim world for memorising the Koran by the age of 17.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty to two charges under the Sexual Offences Act of exposing his genitals with the intention that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress.
Magistrates jailed him for six weeks on each charge, to serve side-by-side, and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.
Ghait was one of 21 Libyan imams invited to Britain by the UK Arabic Society to preach at mosques during Ramadan.
He was staying at a flat in Easton, Bristol, when the offences happened in August.
Richard Levene, prosecuting, told the court that he first struck at 7.54pm on August 13 when he exposed himself to a woman walking through the city’s Castle Park.
She saw Ghait standing behind a bin near a footbridge and as she walked towards him he stepped out, trousers down and exposing himself, despite children being nearby.
Three days later, on August 16, the cleric performed a similar act in front of a 12-year-old in the same park.
He was later arrested and appeared before Bristol magistrates at a hearing to vary his bail application before the case went to trial.
But instead Ghait pleaded guilty and was jailed.
However, the UK Arabic Society says Ghait – famous in the Muslim world for memorising the Koran by the age of 17 – only pleaded guilty because he was under the impression there wouldn’t be a custodial sentence.
Mohamed El Haddad, head of the UK Arabic Society said: ‘There is no way he would have done something like this. Do you think a church leader would harm its community?
‘It was in a park, in the middle of the town, in the middle of the day.
‘It was Ramadan when he was fasting and he is not supposed to even look at women.
‘He is a world-famous imam of a mosque in Libya and has spent 15 years learning the Koran. It is destroying the future of a key person. It is crazy and I just can’t believe it.’