A RELIGIOUS teacher has appeared in court charged with indecent assaults on two boys, aged eight and 11.

Ashraf Sidat, 47, once of Queens Road, Blackburn, but who gave his address in court as c/o Abbey Solicitors, Manchester, did not enter any pleas in the short hearing in front of Preston magistrates.

The case relates to incidents which are alleged to have taken place in Blackburn in 2014 and 2018.

The case was scheduled to be heard at Burnley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday but was moved to Preston.

Sidat had previously worked as a senior religious teacher at the Masjide Noorul Islam, Audley Range, Blackburn.

Sidat, who has also worked as an interpreter for public authorities, was given bail to appear before a judge at Preston Crown Court on February 25.

A spokesman for Al-Islah Girls School and Noorul Islam Mosque said: “Mr Sidat is no longer a trustee at Al-Islah Girls School having been removed from the role in 2018. He is also not involved with the Noorul Islam Mosque or the Madressa.”