A SUCCESSFUL Dudley restaurateur has been spared time behind bars after he carried out a sex attack on a customer’s nine-year-old son.

“This was a dirty little act,” Judge Michael Mott told 26-year-old Rafiqul Islam, who runs the Balti Palace at Merry Hill.

“When families take their children out to a restaurant they do not expect them to be assaulted by a member of staff.”

Islam admitted sexual assault and was given a nine month prison sentence suspended for a year and also made the subject of a 12 month supervision order.

He was further ordered to pay £1,600 costs at Wolverhampton Crown Court and was barred from working with children under 18 years of age.

Gerald Bermingham prosecuting said the boy had gone to the restaurant with his father who was on a staff Christmas outing.

The child broke the zip on his trousers on a visit to the toilets and, when he returned, he sat with another boy on a sofa.

Islam then sat on the other side of the child and slipped his finger into the open zip, said Mr Bermingham.

Rashad Mohammed defending stressed the incident only lasted a second or two and he said Islam was extremely embarrassed by his actions which were deeply regretted.

He said Islam, a married man with a baby daughter, who lives in Great Arthur Street, Smethwick was a successful businessman and he also owned restaurants in Hereford and Wolverhampton.