A Primark security guard who forced teenage girls into performing sex acts so they would escape a shoplifting charge has been jailed for 14 years.
Zia Uddin, 27, raped one 15-year-old schoolgirl and pressured three others into sex acts after he caught 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.
In an interview one victim said she did what Uddin asked because “there was no other choice” and she felt it was the only way out.
Uddin was employed by contractor Brooknight Security and had worked in Primark’s Stratford store before being transferred to the revamped Kingston branch.
Police were called after colleagues noticed his strange behaviour, which included not filling out shoplifting reports, asking for CCTV to be deleted and keeping condoms in the store’s control room.
Uddin was found guilty of one count of rape and four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity following a trial at Kingston Crown Court, which concluded on Friday, November 8.
He has also received a life-long ban from working with children.
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.