Peterborough 'Facebook grooming' sex attackers jailed

Yasir Ali (left) and Daaim Ashraf (right) Yasir Ali (left) and Daaim Ashraf were described by police as "controlling individuals"

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Two sex attackers from Peterborough who targeted teenage girls via Facebook have been jailed.

Yasir Ali, 28, received a 20-year term at Cambridge Crown Court, while Daaim Ashraf, 19, was sentenced to 12 years in a young offenders institution.

The offences relate to eight teenage girls, the youngest of whom was 13.

The men's victims were collected from their homes and taken to secluded spots or to a hotel and plied with alcohol, the men's trial was told.

'Sex objects'

The offences took place between 2008 and 2013 and involved girls from Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Rutland. The pair were convicted in May after a two-month trial.

A teenager raped by Yasir Ali says she fell in love with him

Prosecutor Patricia Lynch said the girls had been used as "sex objects".

Police said six of the victims were abused at a hotel in Peterborough in January and February last year. One victim was filmed on a mobile phone.

Two victims were raped in cars at Ferry Meadows in 2008 and 2010 and another girl was raped in an alleyway in Stamford, police said.

BBC Look East's Louise Hubball said Judge Mark Lucraft told Ali he was "dangerous", with Ashraf laughing as his sentence was passed.

Yasir Ali, 28, and Daaim Ashraf, 19, from Peterborough, caught on CCTV Ali and Ashraf abused some of their victims in a hotel

Ali, of Grange Road, was convicted of 15 charges including four rapes, seven charges of trafficking for sexual exploitation, possession of two indecent images, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and intimidation. He was cleared of one charge of rape.

Ashraf, of Almoners Lane, was found guilty of nine charges including five trafficking offences, a sexual assault, sexual activity with a child, sexual activity in the presence of a child and a further count of intimidation.

Det Supt Gary Ridgway, of Cambridgeshire Police, said: "They are controlling individuals who gave no thought to the consequences their actions would have on such young victims.

"They were well aware of how young they were, yet still pursued them, using social media to win their trust and impressing them with their cars and by taking them to hotels."

In February, five men were jailed by a judge at the Old Bailey for similar offences in Peterborough.

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