12 men jailed for up to 20 years after sexual exploitation of teenage schoolgirl
Published 08/02/2016 | 23:54
A group of 12 men who sexually exploited a vulnerable teenage schoolgirl for their own "selfish, sexual gratification" have received jail sentences of up to 20 years.
Eleven of the men were jailed at Bradford Crown Court after being convicted of raping the girl in Keighley, West Yorkshire, when she was aged between 13 and 14.
The 12th man was sentenced for sexual activity with the same girl.
A trial last year heard how the teenager was repeatedly raped by the men in encounters arranged by a violent drug dealer over a period of 13 months between 2011 and 2012.
On one occasion, the girl was gang-raped by five of the defendants.
Tauqeer Hussain, 23, Yasser Kabir, 25, and Sufyan Ziarab, 23, all of Keighley; Bilal Ziarab, 21, of Bradford; and Israr Ali, 19, Nasir Khan, 24, Saqib Younis, 29, Hussain Sardar, 19, Zain Ali, 20, and Faisal Khan, all of Keighley, were all found guilty of rape.
Hussain was also convicted of raping a second teenage girl in 2009.
Taxi driver Mohammed Akram, 63, of Holker Street, Keighley, was found guilty of sexual activity with the first girl after offering her a lift.
The court heard there was no evidence he pressured the teenager to engage in sexual activity and he did not know the other men.
Khalid Raja Mahmood, 34, pleaded guilty to two charges of rape and three charges of sexual activity with a child.
Peter Hampton, prosecuting, said Mahmood raped the victim on two occasions. The girl submitted to sex at other times, often after Mahmood had plied her with alcohol and cannabis.
Mahmood is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence for raping a woman in a park in Keighley and trying to abduct a 10-year-old girl as she played on a scooter near her home, the court heard.
Judge Roger Thomas QC handed the men sentences of between three-and-a-half and 20 years detention, including an extended sentence for Mahmood.
He said: "You're all to be sentenced, all of you, for offences against a young vulnerable child.
"She was only 13 or 14 when the 12 of you took such terrible and heartless sexual advantage of her."
The judge said cases such as these were classed as child sexual exploitation.
He said: "This is a category of case which involves the sexual exploitation of usually young, vulnerable girls by groups of men who take advantage of a child for their own selfish, sexual gratification."
Kabir, who received the greatest jail term of 20 years, was also sentenced for 12 sexual offences against two other young girls after being found guilty at a separate trial.
Mr Hampton said the abuse took place over a period of two years when one girl was aged between six and seven and the other was aged between seven and nine.
Judge Thomas said all four victims had suffered "severe psychological harm".
The judge said: "None of these defendants had any concern for these girls. They were totally uninterested in their welfare and what damage they were causing them."
He added: "(The girl) clearly demanded pity and understanding but their view of her was heartless and demeaning. They saw her as a pathetic figure who had no worth and who served no other purpose than to be an object that they could sexually misuse and cast aside.
"They showed her no shred of decency or humanity when, as a vulnerable child, she so needed care and understanding."
Many of the men smiled, laughed, chatted and waved to family members in the public gallery as they were led away from the dock following sentencing.
Judge Thomas criticised them for their "appalling" attitude and behaviour throughout the trial, which he said was "contemptuous, disrespectful and arrogant on a scale that I have hardly seen before in many years of practice in the criminal law".
Helen Gaunt, a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, said: "These 12 men are responsible for despicable crimes involving child sexual exploitation and abuse. Their victims were young, naive and vulnerable and were deliberately targeted."
She added: "This type of depravity will not be tolerated on our streets or in our communities."
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner, described the crimes as "abhorrent".