Rochdale grooming trial: Nine men jailed
- 9 May 2012
- From the section England
Nine men who ran a child sexual exploitation ring in Greater Manchester have been jailed.
The men from Rochdale and Oldham, who exploited girls as young as 13 were given sentences ranging from four to 19 years.
They were found guilty of offences including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the group plied five victims with drink and drugs and "passed them around" for sex.
The girls were abused at two takeaway restaurants in the Heywood area of Rochdale by the men aged between 24 and 59. The takeaways are now under new management.
'Lust and greed'
All those convicted were found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with girls under the age of 16.
Judge Gerald Clifton said the men, eight of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan, treated the girls "as though they were worthless and beyond respect".
The judge added: "One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion.
"Some of you, when arrested, said it (the prosecution) was triggered by race. That is nonsense.
"What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed."
The solicitor for Adil Khan, one of the convicted men, said an appeal would be lodged.
Alias Yousaf claimed outside court that jury deliberations had been "breached".
He claimed comments on Twitter by the far-right group Infidels of Great Britain and the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, showed they knew the men would be found guilty before the verdicts were delivered.
Mr Yousaf said: "We are left with no option but to conclude that the confidentiality of the jury's deliberations must have been breached."
Earlier the 59-year-old leader of the sex ring, who cannot be named for legal reasons but was also convicted of two rapes, aiding and abetting rape, sexual assault and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, was jailed for 19 years.
His defence barrister, Simon Nichol, said his client "has objected from the start for being tried by an all white jury and subsequent events have confirmed his fears".
"He believes his convictions have nothing to do with justice but result from the faith and the race of the defendants.
"He further believes that society failed the girls in this case before the girls even met them and now that failure is being blamed on a weak minority group."
But sentencing the ringleader to 19 years in prison, the judge called him an "unpleasant and hypocritical bully" who had ordered a 15-year-old girl to have sex with takeaway worker Kabeer Hassan as a birthday "treat".
Hassan, 25, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, was sentenced to nine years for rape and three years, concurrently, for the conspiracy conviction.
Taxi driver, Abdul Aziz, 41, a married father-of-three, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, also convicted of trafficking for sexual exploitation, received a nine year sentence.
Aziz was said in court to have taken over as the main trafficker of girls.
Married father-of-five Abdul Rauf, 43, of Darley Road, Rochdale, also convicted of trafficking a child within the UK for sexual exploitation, received six years.
The religious studies teacher at a local mosque asked a 15-year-victim if she had any younger friends and would drive some of the girls to other men who would use them for sex.
Adil Khan, 42, of Oswald Street, Rochdale also convicted of trafficking a child within the UK for sexual exploitation, received eight years.
Khan, who is married with one child, fathered the child of a 13-year-old victim.
Mohammed Sajid, 35, of Jephys Street, Rochdale, also convicted of one count of rape, sexual activity with a girl under 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation, was jailed for 12 years.
He will be deported back to Pakistan following the conclusion of his sentence.
Mohammed Amin, 45, of Falinge Road, Falinge, was a driver for Eagle Taxis for 14 years and was known as "Car Zero".
He was also convicted of sexual assault and received a five-year jail term.
Hamid Safi, 22, of no fixed address, was also convicted of trafficking girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation and sentenced to four years.
He sneaked into the UK on a lorry in 2008 and claimed asylum. He will be deported to Afghanistan at the end of his sentence.
Abdul Qayyum, 44, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, was jailed for five years. He was a driver for Streamline Taxis in Middleton, Greater Manchester, and was known by the name "Tiger".