Primark security guard facing jail for making teenage shoplifters perform sexual acts
12 November 2019, 10:42 | Updated: 12 November 2019, 19:57
A Primark security guard is facing jail after making teenage girls that were caught shoplifting perform sexual acts on him.
Zia Uddin, 27, preyed on four young girls while working in the Kingston, south west London, branch of the chain in 2017.
He would detain the girls before telling them given the circumstances, the police would be called, they would get criminal records and their parents would be contacted – unless they carried out the sexual acts.
Despite his victims desperately offering to pay for the items they had stolen or suggesting that they could work in the store to make amends or even never enter the shop again, Uddin made clear that he was only interested in sexual acts in exchange for letting them go.
He was caught out after a complaint was made about him and the police were called in.
The clothing chain, who did not directly employ the security guard, said the offences were "shocking and distressing" and that they were "truly sorry for what [the victims] had suffered."
His colleagues also noticed his strange behaviour, which included not filling out the correct incident report paperwork in shoplifting situations, and asking them to delete CCTV.
Uddin was also known to keep condoms in the control room.
He was found guilty 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.
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 that 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. He has now been held accountable for his actions.
“The CPS takes sexual offences extremely seriously and will prosecute offenders where there is the evidence to do so.”
A Primark spokesperson added: “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.”
Uddin will be sentenced on 19 November at Kingston Crown Court.