A GROOMING gang of seven “predatory men” has been convicted for sexually exploiting two girls in “truly appalling ways”.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Usman Ali, Banaras Hussain, Abdul Majid, Gul Riaz and three other accused, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, were found guilty of a total of 10 counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault.
The prosecution said the men “systematically groomed and exploited” two teenagers in the Huddersfield area, who were treated as “merely objects, to be used and abused at will”.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “The way these girls were treated defies understanding. The abuse was vile and wicked.
“It is clear that both have been and remain profoundly affected by the abuse which ended some years ago.”
The girls had been groomed from the age of 13 and 14, between 1995 to 2007.
The judge said the offences were “insidious and persistent”, and termed the abuse “disgusting and degrading”.
One of the victims’ families had stated that the girl used to go would go missing and return “heavily under the influence of alcohol or drugs”, sometimes injured and half naked.
Once, the family recalled, she was “thrown out of a car drunk, with her trousers around her ankles”.
The men used “violence and threats” to exploit and control the girls, the Leeds Crown Court was told. One of the victims reportedly said she ended up having “sex with up to 300 men”.
The court was also informed about a harsh response one of the victims’ families received from social services: “She must love it if she keeps going back.”
The prosecution noted that one victim had tried to report the abuse to police in 1997, but was “disbelieved and felt let down by them”.
West Yorkshire Police DCI Richard McNamara said: “The men involved in these vile offences have robbed their victims of their childhood and abused them in truly appalling ways.”
“During the trial,” he noted, “the court heard that one victim came to the attention of her abusers while she was on a paper round in school uniform, which speaks volumes about the sheer depravity of this case.”
This case took the number of men convicted for child sexual exploitation based on West Yorkshire Police’s ‘Operation Tendersea’ town to 34.
Michael Quinn, head of the Complex Casework Unit at CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “The girls were drawn into a dark and sinister world where they were passed around to men who used them sexually without any regard for whether they were consenting.
“Sometimes the girls were plied with alcohol or drugs. They were unable to make truly free or informed choices about anything they did with these men. Their abusers viewed the girls as merely objects, to be used and abused at will.”
Usman Ali, 34, of Huddersfield, was convicted of two counts of rape and jailed for eight years.
Banaras Hussain, 39, of Shipley, was convicted of one count of rape and jailed for nine and a half years.
Abdul Majid, 35, of Huddersfield, was convicted of two counts of rape and jailed for 11 years.
Gul Riaz, 43, of Huddersfield, was convicted of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, and jailed for 15 years.
Two other men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were each convicted of a count of rape with one jailed for eight years and another jailed for four.
The seventh man is yet to be sentenced.