Paedophile gang ringleader given 19 years
A judge condemned nine members of an Asian paedophile gang for treating their victims as though they were "worthless and beyond respect" today as he jailed the ringleader for 19 years.
Judge Gerald Clifton said the nine men from Rochdale, who preyed on up to 50 young white girls, had been driven by "lust and greed".
The men appeared at Liverpool Crown Court amid tight security after being convicted yesterday of abusing five vulnerable teenagers after plying them with alcohol, food and small sums of money in return for sex.
Police have admitted that the true number of victims, who were "passed around" by the gang, is likely to be as high as 50.
The man seen as the ringleader, a 59-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for a total of 19 years for conspiracy, two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, sexual assault and a count of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.
The defendant was previously banned from court because of his threatening behaviour and for calling the judge a "racist bastard". Judge Clifton branded him an "unpleasant and hypocritical bully".
The remaining members of the gang were handed sentences between four and 12 years for a string of offences.
Takeaway worker Kabeer Hassan, 25, was jailed for nine years for rape and three years, concurrently, for the conspiracy conviction.
The alleged ring leader ordered the first victim to have sex with Hassan as a "treat" for his birthday. He raped the girl, who was then aged 15.
Taxi driver Abdul Aziz, 41, was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy and nine years, concurrently, for trafficking for sexual exploitation.
The married father-of-three took over from the 59-year-old as the main trafficker of the victims and was paid by various men to supply girls for sex.
Married father-of-five Abdul Rauf, 43, was jailed for six years for conspiracy and six years, concurrently, for trafficking for sexual exploitation.
The religious studies teacher at a local mosque asked a 15-year-victim if she had any younger friends and would drive some of the girls to other men, who would use them for sex, despite knowing they were underage.
Mohammed Sajid, 35, was sentenced to 12 years for rape, six years for conspiracy, one year for trafficking and six years, all concurrent, for sexual activity with a child.
Known as "Saj", he would regularly ply victims with alcohol before having sex with them at his flat, where groups of men would gather and "pass around" the girls.
Adil Khan, 42, was given eight years for conspiracy and eight years, concurrently, for trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Khan, who is married with one child, fathered the child of a 13-year-old victim who believed she was in love with him.
Mohammed Amin, 45, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy and 12 months, concurrently, for sexual assault.
Married with school aged children, he was a driver for Eagle Taxis and was known as "Car Zero".
Abdul Qayyum, 44, a driver for Streamline Taxis in Middleton, Greater Manchester, was jailed for five years for conspiracy.
Illegal immigrant Hamid Safi, 22, of no fixed address, was jailed for four years for conspiracy and one year, concurrently, for trafficking.
He sneaked into the UK on a lorry in 2008 and claimed to have fled Afghanistan because his uncle was murdered by the Taliba. Safi will be deported back to Afghanistan following his sentence.
All twelve members of the jury returned to court for the sentence hearing.
Opening his sentencing remarks Judge Clifton told the defendants: "All of you treated (the victims) as though they were worthless and beyond respect."
Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have now apologised after they failed to bring the case of the first victim - Girl A - to trial following her cry for help in August 2008.
One 13 year-old victim became pregnant and had the child aborted while another was forced to have sex with 20 men in one night, the court heard.
Complaints to social workers and the police were ignored because they were "petrified of being called racist", former Labour MP for Keighley Ann Cryer said.
Mrs Cryer, who has campaigned to bring the issue of Asian sex gangs to light, said the girls had been "betrayed" and condemned to "untold misery" by the police and social services.
"This is an absolute scandal. They were petrified of being called racist and so reverted to the default of political correctness," she said.
"They had a greater fear of being perceived in that light than in dealing with the issues in front of them."