Child sex gang members jailed after 'grotesque' behaviour
Members of the Aylesbury child abuse ring have been handed lengthy jail sentences for grooming vulnerable under-age white girls for sex for as little as "the price of a McDonald's, a milkshake and cinema ticket".
The Asian men were convicted at the Old Bailey of a range of sex offences between 2006 and 2012 including multiple rape of a child under 13, child prostitution and administering a substance to "stupefy" a girl in order to engage in sexual activity.
Today, Vikram Singh, Asif Hussain, Arshad Jani, Mohammed Imran, Akbari Khan and Taimoor Khan were jailed for between three years and 19-and-a-half years.
Most of the offences related to child A, who was present in court to see the men who robbed her of her teenage years sent down.
In a statement, she told of her feelings of "worthlessness" as she battled depression and alcohol addiction, adding: "I feel my teenage years were taken away from me."
Sentencing, judge John Bevan QC paid tribute to her bravery in laying bare her life "warts and all" and said the way some of the defendants took advantage of her vulnerability was "grotesque".
He said: "She sought friendship amongst Asian males in their 20s and for the price of a McDonald's, a milkshake and cinema ticket, she became 'liked' by stall holders in Aylesbury market, taxi and bus drivers.
"By the age of 13 she was sexually experienced, confusing sexual gratification for friendship and love."
By the time she was 16, the girl had slept with just under 70 men and her vulnerability should have been "blindingly obvious", the judge said.
He went on: "Why these defendants focused their attention on white under-age girls is unexplained but I have no doubt vulnerability played a substantial part in it.
"The combination of inadequate parenting leading to rebellious children lacking supervision provided an opportunity.
"If they pursued Asian under-age girls, they would have paid a heavy price in their community."
The two victims came from troubled backgrounds and wanted to feel grown-up when they were befriended by the men, who groomed them by showering them with inexpensive gifts such as alcohol, DVDs, food and occasionally drugs.
While aged just 12 or 13, child A was passed between some 60 mainly Asian men for sex after being conditioned into thinking it was normal behaviour, jurors were told.
The vast majority of the charges related to this child, while three charges related to girl B.
During the trial, prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC told the jury the youngsters were "easy prey for a group of men wanting casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available".
He said the girls' ideas of what was right had been "completely distorted", and that they thought what was happening was "normal" and "natural".
Many of the defendants were friends from the Aylesbury area. Some were married and had children, with some working on the market and a few working as taxi drivers.
Singh, 45, of Cannock Road, Aylesbury, who has a wife and children, was told by Judge Bevan he bore a "heavy responsibility" for the "degradation" of Child A. He was jailed for a total of 17 and a half years for four counts of rape and administering a substance with intent.
Hussain, 33, of Hodge Lea, Milton Keynes, who was convicted of three counts of rape was sentenced to 13 and a half years.
Jani, 33, of Cousins Drive, Aylesbury, received 13 years for rape and conspiracy to rape. The court heard the bus driver had supported a wife and 17-month-old daughter in Pakistan.
Imran, 38, of Springcliffe Street, Bradford, was convicted of three counts of rape, one count of conspiracy to rape and one count of child prostitution. The Pakistani national was jailed for 19-and-a-half years and faces the prospect of deportation afterwards.
He was the only defendant to express remorse for his actions today, saying through his lawyer he felt "guilt and shame" for what he had done.
Akbari Khan, 36, of Mandeville Road, Aylesbury, who was found guilty of two counts of rape, administering a substance with intent, and conspiracy to rape, was jailed for 16 years. He too has a wife and young daughter.
Taimoor Khan, 29, of Highbridge Road, Aylesbury, was sentenced to three years in prison for one count of sexual activity with a child.
Afterwards, Child B, who is suing Buckinghamshire County Council for negligence, issued a statement saying "no sentence could ever put right what happened".
But she said: "It's an opportunity for all of us to say to the Government and to social services, whose job it is to protect vulnerable people, that it is time to sit down and listen to our experiences, and I mean actually listen and reflect on what is happening in this country.
"This would go a long way in helping them to be able to understand the problems that exist, to enable them to prevent things like this from happening to others in the future."
Her solicitor Alan Collins added: "It is without doubt that if social services had done more to protect the victims and spotted the crucial signs that something was wrong, we wouldn't be here today.
"However, the sentencing of these individuals does not make up for the failings. As a consequence, we will now be taking legal action against Buckinghamshire County Council for their negligence in this case which resulted in the unnecessary suffering of these victims."