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Bristol gang groomed teen girls as young as 13 for sex

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Handout photos issued by Avon and Somerset Police of (top row, from the left) Abdirashid Abdulahi, Mohamed Dahir, Liban Abdi, Jusef Abdirizak and (bottom row, from the left) Idleh Osman, Arafat Ahmed Osman, Abdulahi Aden and Mohamed Jumale, eight of fourteen Somali men who have been convicted of running an inner city sex ring that involved the abuse, rape and prostitution of teenage British girls. Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

Handout photos issued by Avon and Somerset Police of (top row, from the left) Abdirashid Abdulahi, Mohamed Dahir, Liban Abdi, Jusef Abdirizak and (bottom row, from the left) Idleh Osman, Arafat Ahmed Osman, Abdulahi Aden and Mohamed Jumale, eight of fourteen Somali men who have been convicted of running an inner city sex ring that involved the abuse, rape and prostitution of teenage British girls. Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

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Handout photos issued by Avon and Somerset Police of (top row, from the left) Abdirashid Abdulahi, Mohamed Dahir, Liban Abdi, Jusef Abdirizak and (bottom row, from the left) Idleh Osman, Arafat Ahmed Osman, Abdulahi Aden and Mohamed Jumale, eight of fourteen Somali men who have been convicted of running an inner city sex ring that involved the abuse, rape and prostitution of teenage British girls. Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

FOURTEEN Somali men have been convicted of running a sex ring that involved the abuse, rape and prostitution of teenage British girls, it can be reported for the first time.

Victims as young as 13 were preyed upon, sexually abused and passed around the men's friends for money in Bristol.

Several of the girls were groomed to the extent they believed abuse was part of loving relationships they were having with the defendants.

Some were persuaded to have sex with their 'boyfriend's' friends as it was Somali "culture and tradition" and "men always have sex with each other's girlfriends". The victims, described as "vulnerable" due to their age and circumstances, were paid as little as £30 or given drugs, alcohol and gifts to perform sex acts on older men.

In one dreadful night, one 13-year-old girl was raped four times by three different men, having been trafficked across the city to a Premier Inn by one of her abusers. The Bristol case comes after allegations, convictions and resignations over organised child abuse and exploitation across English towns and cities including Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Telford.

Serious case reviews are now underway to try to understand how the girls became victims.

A total of 14 were convicted of charges including rape, sexual activity with a child, facilitating child prostitution, trafficking, paying for the sexual services of a child and drug offences.

Defendants were tried in two separate trials at Bristol Crown Court this year, with eight jailed for between 18 months and 13 years following the first this summer. The remaining seven, convicted by a jury yesterday following 32 hours and 17 minutes of deliberations, will be sentenced tomorrow.

Irish Independent