A Hale Barns hotel owner faces jail after being found guilty of sexually assaulting two young girls who were staying at the property.
The victims, aged four and eight, were staying with their parents at Hale Barns House on Hasty Lane in Hale Barns last March, before heading to the airport with their parents the next morning for a family holiday.
Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Adam Saleem, 46, the owner of the hotel, lured the young girls into his room so they could play with the cats he owned before closing the door and sexually assaulting them.
Saleem allocated the room next to his own room for the family to share as the parents wanted an ensuite room.
Prosecuting, Miss Nicola Gatto said: “All three girls were playing together. They were outside the private living accommodation of the defendant and their father said they had been quite loud, when all of a sudden, they became very quiet.
“Their father didn’t want them to disturb their neighbours during the course of their playing, so when he went out to look for them, he figured they would be in the defendant’s room, so he knocked on the door of the defendant.
“He walked into his bedroom, that the prosecution say was unlocked, and he said the defendant was lying on the bed. He got the girls outside of the room, the family went to bed at 9.30 in the evening.”
The prosecutor told the court that the parents had noticed a change in their daughter’s behaviour during and after the holiday. They became concerned and described her as being “being very emotional and clingy”.
At the time, the girls were too scared to say anything and the parents didn’t find out what had happened until November. The father had watched a film about a child going missing and spoke alongside his wife to their daughters, saying that there were nasty people in the world and that they should tell him if they ever met any nasty people.
On 24 November, “after the girls’ mother had put the children to bed, the eldest daughter told her sister that she had to tell someone”, the court heard. The girl demonstrated to her mother how the defendant had touched her.
In her police statement, the older girl said: “He’s got three cats so we went into his room, my older sister and my little sister and me, we went into the room and he offered if we wanted to see the cats so we went in and my older sister, she went to stroke the cats on the other side of the room and then he started to touch us.
“The man was touching us with his hands under our knickers. It went on for around 50 seconds. He just kept doing it and doing it. I was thinking: ‘Get off me.’
“My dad came in after and said: ‘Bed’s ready, come out girls.’ I didn’t tell anyone. I had been thinking about it every night.”
The hotel, listed under the name Hale Barns House on TripAdvisor, is a property worth £2m with eight rooms for paying guests.
Saleem denied the accusations and claimed that he had no sexual interest in children. The court found him guilty and he will be sentenced next month. He has been granted bail but was warned by a judge that prison was inevitable.
He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and banned from allowing children into his guesthouse.
Saleem was also once a participant in Channel 4’s reality TV programme Four in a Bed, where four different hotels or B&B owners visit and review the other accommodation but he complained afterwards that the producers had not fairly represented his guesthouse and created a stressful environment.
Attempts have been made to contact Hale Barns House for a comment but no reply had been received by the time of publication.
Additional reporting: Cavendish Press.