A religious teacher from Thornton Heath has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing two boys and inflicting “severe psychological harm” on them.

Croydon Crown Court found Muhammad Asgar, 68, guilty of attempting to rape one of the boys and sexually abusing the other. The offences took place over three years.

Asgar, from Goldwell Road, Thornton Heath, taught the Qu’ran at Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre and would forcibly kiss his first victim and rub his genitals against him, the court heard.

He also attempted to rape the boy by stripping and bending him over a sofa, the court heard. His actions traumatised the boy and disrupted his education, jurors were told.

His second victim, who was under 13, was also sexually assaulted in his own home before being reported to police. In his impact statement, his first victim said he had trouble trusting people and was struggling with the “major disruption” to his education.

He said: “Unfortunately, despite trying to suppress the memories and feelings, the incidents that have transpired have affected my life in different ways. They had an effect on my psyche, especially when I was about to graduate from high school. I felt unmotivated to do anything and wanted to keep to myself.”

Asgar pleaded not guilty to the offences and his lawyer claimed the teacher’s “previous good character and reputation had been destroyed” because of the accusations.

Asgar was acquitted of four further charges, including attempted rape and three counts of sexual assault on a child under 13.

While sentencing Asgar on (Friday March 3), the court also subjected him to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.