Five men jailed for grooming Rochdale girl

(clockwise from top left): Freddie Kendakumana, Roheez Khan, Chola Chansa, Abdul Huk and Mohammed Rafiq Abubaker
Image caption (clockwise from top left): Freddie Kendakumana, Roheez Khan, Chola Chansa, Abdul Huk and Mohammed Rafiq Abubaker

Five men have been jailed after an investigation into the sexual abuse of a girl was reopened following the exposure of police failings.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) apologised in November to the girl, who was sexually exploited as a 15-year-old by five men from Rochdale.

The victim, now 20, told police in 2008 Freddie Kendakumana, 27, raped her but he was not charged until October 2012.

He received the longest sentence, of up to eight and a half years.

The court heard Kendakumana bought the victim vodka and she would spend time with him and his friends at his flat in Falinge.

'Court process horrible'

He was frequently violent and abusive towards her and raped her in his bedroom.

In a statement, the victim said giving evidence was "the hardest thing I've ever had to go through".

She said: "It's only now that I have a proper long-term boyfriend that I truly understand what a proper relationship is and how I should be treated.

"A boyfriend isn't someone that buys me alcohol, has sex with me and then leaves, until next time.

"The court process was horrible and degrading and at times so upsetting and stressful that I just wanted my whole life to end."

The sentencing comes on the same day Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children's Board published a report highlighting how a range of agencies, including police, showed a "shocking" inability to protect seven vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation.

Witness intimidation

The latest case was reopened after GMP's sexual crime unit highlighted failings with the initial investigation as part of Operation Span, which took a fresh look at allegations from other under-age girls in the Rochdale area.

At Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court, Chola Chansa, 33, of Illminster, Rochdale, was sentenced to five years after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child.

Abdul Huk, 37, of Ouldfield Close, Rochdale, and Mohammed Rafiq Abubaker, 25, of Freehold, Rochdale, were found guilty of sexual activity with a child and were jailed for four years and two and a half years respectively.

Roheez Khan, 27, of Ashfield Road, Rochdale, was jailed for six and a half years after he was convicted of sexual activity with a child and witness intimidation.

More on this story