A gang who sexually abused vulnerable girls as young as eleven in Huddersfield have been jailed for a combined total of more than 220 years in the latest Asian sex ring to be brought before the courts.
As with similar cases in a string of British towns and cities, the gang plied their victims – some of whom were as young as 11 – with
The court heard evidence from 15 victims during the trials and the judge said he fears none of them will ever recover from their ordeals.
In victim statements the girls described coming into contact with the abusers after being bullied at school and said the relationship became ‘one of those things that you couldn’t get out of’.
The pattern of exploitation of mainly white girls by groups of men of mainly Pakistani heritage mirrors what has happened in a number of other towns around the country, including Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford.
The Leeds trials attracted protests by right wing groups and EDL founder Tommy Robinson, who was jailed for contempt for endangering one of the cases with social media posts. He has since been freed but faces another hearing.
The abuse, which centred in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, took place ‘in cars, car parks, houses, a snooker centre, a takeaway, a park and other places’, the court heard.
At least one of the victims attempted suicide and another had to have an abortion after becoming pregnant, prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the jury.
The men referred to each other using a series of nicknames – ‘Beastie’, ‘Dracula’ and ‘Nurse’ – which were also used as their monikers during the trials.
Ringleader Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, was jailed for life earlier this year and told he must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison by a judge who said: ‘Your treatment of these girls was inhuman.’
Dhaliwal, who is married with children and converted to the Sikh religion five years ago, carried out some of gang’s most sickening abuse.
He often took video footage of abuse taking place to share and distribute with other men. He also forced one victim to perform a sex act with a bottle during a supposed game of ‘truth or dare game’ that he organised.
Another member of the grooming gang Sajid Hussain, known as ‘Fish’, went on the run from the trial held at Leeds Crown Court and was sentenced in his absence.
He had been recognised by his victim in a shop after he had served her while she was wearing her school uniform. He was convicted raping one of the victims when she was just 14 years old.
How sex gang trial led to Tommy Robinson’s jailing
A judge found that the Huddersfield grooming trials were put at risk by the antics of English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson (pictured when he was arrested).
He flouted reporting restrictions designed to ensure the proceedings were fair and claimed the activities of the gang were being covered up because the offenders were of Asian origin.
In reality, reporting of the case was postponed because the defendants were being dealt with in separate trials.
In such cases, reporting is sometimes postponed until the final case so jurors cannot be prejudiced by reading accounts of previous trials.
Video footage showed him approaching defendants outside Leeds Crown Court.
The video was viewed on social media 250,000 times within hours.
Robinson was given a 13-month jail term by Judge Geoffrey Marson QC in May, but was released from HMP Onley in Rugby on August 1 after successfully challenging the contempt of court ruling.
The ban on reporting has now been lifted and the 20 cases are no longer active.
However, Robinson could be sent back to jail if a ruling of contempt of court is made at a fresh hearing, due to take place at the Old Bailey on October 23.
All of the victims were ‘vulnerable because of family and other circumstances’, the court was told.
Describing the men’s activities, the prosecutor Mr Wright QC said: ‘The way children like this were groomed by men like the defendants is very simple.
‘They identify a vulnerable child who is socially isolated and not well supported by friends and family.
‘Then they befriend that child and make them feel special – whether that be by simply appearing as someone who wants to spend time with them, or by flattery, or by plying them with drink and drugs.’
Girls ‘regularly went missing from home, causing great distress to their families’ and ‘became secretive and aggressive’ as they often came home under the influence of drugs and alcohol, Leeds Crown Court heard during the course of trials held throughout 2018.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: ‘These were planned offences by a large group of Asian men.
‘Having been plied with alcohol and drugs, girls were raped, they were trafficked to isolated areas or to houses for the purpose of sexual abuse by those who took them or by others.
‘When taken to isolated places such as the moors or a reservoir, if they didn’t comply they were, on occasions, beaten; they were told they would be left to make their own way back, children on their own, children late at night in isolated areas.
The judge added: ‘They were taken to so-called parties at houses where there would be older Asian men.
‘Again, they were plied with alcohol and drugs, on occasion drinks were spiked and many times these girls were rendered senseless.
‘They would then be taken to a room where, one by one, men would go and abuse these girls sexually.
‘Sometimes no contraception was used, sometimes plastic bags were used as condoms; it was disgusting and degrading.’
The judge added: ‘It is likely that many, if not all, of these girls will never recover from the abuse they suffered’.
An Asian sex gang which operated in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire has been jailed for more than 200 years
Gang’s sickening call to victim’s care home
The trial heard one girl, who had been taken into care, was abducted from the home by the gang, supplied with drugs and made to perform oral sex.
After she returned, the care home received a phone call and a man asked for the girl telling care home staff, ‘tell her I want to f*** her’.
The carer told them it was illegal and the girl was only 12.
The man’s response was to say: ‘That’s nothing to do with you we want her back, just let her go or else’.
Speaking after the case, West Yorkshire Police’s Detective Chief Inspector Ian Mottershaw said: ‘I would like to pay tribute to each and every victim who came forward firstly to report these heinous crimes, but to go through the gruelling court process which has taken nearly a year to conclude and to bravely give their accounts to us and the court.
‘I cannot praise them enough for their courage and tenacity in helping us secure justice for them against these defendants.
‘We welcome the convictions and sentences which have been passed down throughout the year to these depraved individuals, who subjected vulnerable young children to unthinkable sexual and physical abuse.
‘Child sexual exploitation is abhorrent and is one of the most important challenges facing the police. Safeguarding the vulnerable and protecting victims is West Yorkshire Police’s top priority.
‘However unwilling victims may be initially to engage with police or other agencies, or to give evidence against the perpetrators, they will always be supported, listened to and protected from further harm.’
The Huddersfield sex gang and their vile nicknames
– Amere Singh Dhaliwal, nicknamed ‘Pretos’, 35 – jailed for life, minimum of 18 years
– Irfan Ahmed, nicknamed ‘Finny’, 34 – jailed for eight years
– Zahid Hassan, nicknamed ‘Little Manny’, 29 – jailed for 18 years
– Mohammed Kammer, nicknamed ‘Kammy’, 34 – jailed for 16 years
– Mohammed Rizwan Aslam, nicknamed ‘Big Riz’, 31 – jailed for 15 years
– Abdul Rehman, nicknamed ‘Beastie’, 31- jailed for 16 years
– Raj Singh Barsran, nicknamed ‘Raj’, 34 – jailed for 17 years
– Nahman Mohammed, nicknamed ‘Dracula’ 32 – jailed for 15 years
– Mansoor Akhtar, nicknamed ‘Boy’, 27 – jailed for eight years
– Wiqas Mahmud, nicknamed ‘Vic’, 38 – jailed for 15 years
– Nasarat Hussain, nicknamed ‘Nurse’, 30 – jailed for 17 years
– Sajid Hussain, nicknamed ‘Fish’ 33 – jailed for 17 years
– Mohammed Irfraz, nicknamed ‘Faj’ 30 – jailed for six years
– Faisal Nadeem, nicknamed ‘Chiller’ 32 – jailed for 12 years
– Mohammed Azeem, nicknamed ‘Mosabella’, 33 – jailed for 18 years
– Manzoor Hassan, nicknamed ‘Big Manny’ 38 – jailed for five years
– Niaz Ahmed, 54, nicknamed ‘Shaq’ – to be sentenced on November 1
– Mohammed Imran Ibrar, nicknamed ‘Bully’, 34 – to be sentenced on November 1
– Asif Bashir, nicknamed ‘Junior’, 33 – sentenced November 1
– Mohammed Akram, nicknamed ‘Kid’ 33 – to be sentenced on November 1
Gang targeted girls bullied at school and made them feel ‘cool’ – but later switched to threats of beatings and horrific rapes with plastic bags as condoms
Many of the 15 girls who were abused by a gang in Huddersfield were from ‘isolated’ backgrounds, with one suffering from a mild learning disability and another being vulnerable as a result of her mother’s alcohol and drug addictions.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told how the girls were ‘made to feel special’ by the group’s flattery, and fell into their trap as a result of their ‘youth and naivety’.
One of these victims said she came into contact with the group after being bullied at school and said she did ‘sort of like the attention’ they were giving her.
But the same girl said that her relationship with some of the defendants became ‘one of those things that you couldn’t get out of’.
Grooming gang member Raj Singh Barsran swore at photographers as he walked into Leeds Crown Court during his trial
Another victim who had a similar experience told the court how the outings with the predatory men initially made her feel grown up, adding: ‘But we weren’t really, we were young, but when you are young you do think it is cool to be doing them things, going against what your mum says and stuff like that.’
During his sentencing remarks, Judge Marson told how the girls would be taken to isolated places, where defendants could threaten and beat them if they failed to comply with their demands for sex.
At house parties, victims would be plied with alcohol and drugs, before being sexually abused ‘one by one’ by the men, sometimes with no contraception or with a plastic bag being used as an alternative.
Describing the experience as ‘disgusting and degrading’, the judge told how girls would wake up ‘naked or partially clothed’, unaware of what had happened to them.
One girl said: ‘It was just like a continual lifestyle, I didn’t know how to get out of it. You feel manipulated and scared in a way that if you don’t meet these guys then something is going to happen.
‘You’d see people with knives or fighting so you do feel scared and you do feel intimidated, but on the other side you feel like you want to be a rebel because you’re that age.
‘They’re quite manipulative and when you’re in that situation you’re so pressured, you feel so stupid and dirty and horrible.’
Huddersfield becomes latest in a series of British towns and cities rocked by Asian sex gang investigations
Rotherham – The issue of child abuse in the town first came to light in 2010 when five Asian men were jailed for sexual offences against under-age girls.
A 2014 inquiry found there were more than 1,400 victims of grooming and sex exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
Rochdale – The trial of nine men for grooming young white girls for sex attracted widespread public outrage and sparked a national debate when they were convicted in 2012.
The gang received jail sentences of between four and 19 years for offences committed against five girls – aged between 13 and 15 – in and around Rochdale between 2008 and 2010.
The case returned to the public consciousness earlier this year when the BBC broadcast its Three Girls drama based on the experiences of some of the victims.
(Top row, left to right:) Tayab Dad, Nasar Dad, Basharat Dad. (Bottom row left to right:) Matloob Hussain, Mohammed Sadiq and Amjad Ali groomed two girls and sexually abused in Rotherham
Newcastle – A total of 17 men and one woman were convicted of, or admitted, charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution, in Newcastle last year.
Older men preyed on immature teenagers who were plied with cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or mephedrone (M-Cat), then raped or persuaded into having sexual activity at parties known as ‘sessions’.
The case raised huge controversy after a convicted rapist was paid almost £10,000 of taxpayers’ money to spy on parties where under-age girls were intoxicated and sexually abused.
Northumbria Police launched a major investigation after receiving information from social workers and initially spoke to 108 potential victims. Over the course of four trials, 20 young women gave evidence covering a period from 2011 to 2014.
Shabir Ahmed was convicted of 30 child rape charges in Rochdale
Oxford – A group of men who abused teenage girls in a vehicle they called the ‘s**gwagon’ were jailed for a total of nearly 90 years in June this year.
The men – aged 36 to 48 – befriended vulnerable girls as young as 13 before plying them drink and drugs at ‘parties’ in Oxford.
The eight men – branded ‘predatory and cynical’ by a judge – were jailed for between seven and a half and fifteen years each.
Bristol – Some 13 Somali men were jailed for more than a total of more than 100 years after they were convicted in 2014 of running an inner city sex ring.
Victims as young as 13 were preyed upon, sexually abused and trafficked across Bristol to be passed around the men’s friends for money.
Aylesbury – Six men were jailed in 2015 for grooming vulnerable under-age white girls between 2006 and 2012.
The Old Bailey heard victims would be plied with alcohol and forced to perform sex acts for as little as ‘the price of a McDonalds’.
Peterborough – A total of 10 men were convicted of child sex crimes in the town, including ‘predatory’ restaurant boss Mohammed Khubaib.
He was jailed for 13 years at the Old Bailey in 2015, after he was found guilty of forcing a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him and nine counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, involving girls aged from 12 to 15, between 2010 and 2013.
Telford – Earlier this year, Telford became the latest town to become the focus of the now sadly familiar stories of abuse.
A Sunday Mirror investigation concluded that around 1,000 children could have been sexually exploited in the Shropshire town over a 40-year period, leading to calls for a public inquiry.
To be continued
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