A MONK found guilty of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl was told he had “betrayed the Buddhist community” as he was jailed.

Pahalagama Somaratana, chief monk at the Thames Buddhist Vihara, in Dulverton Road, Selsdon, was found guilty in April of four counts of indecent assault on a girl between 1977 and 1978.

The court heard how Somaratana lured the child into his bedroom in Chiswick, west London, with the promise of fruit polo sweets, and also assaulted her in the shrine room in the presence of the Buddha.

The monk then warned the girl that if she told anyone what happened, “her mother would be angry and her father would die”.

Sentencing Somaratana at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, June 1, Judge Philip Matthews said: “The woman told how what happened made her feel as if her life was destroyed.

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