Vile sex gang caged for 168 years for ‘systematically’ grooming and abusing schoolgirls
Hedar Ali, 36, of Bradford, was jailed for 25 years after being found guilty of two counts of rape and two counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Fifteen men have been jailed for 168 years for “systematically” grooming and sexually abusing schoolgirls in Halifax – with one man getting 25yrs alone.
They were convicted of child sex offences including rape, grooming and trafficking during three separate trials at Leeds Crown Court
Prosecutors praised the “immense courage and bravery” of the two victims who gave evidence against the men.
The longest sentence passed was 25 years in what was described as a “complex and lengthy operation”.
During the trials, the court heard one schoolgirl was preyed on by as many as 100 men
Haider Ali, 41, of Halifax, sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of sexual activity with a child and causing a person to engage in sexual activity.
The gang of men abused a young girl in Halifax and Bradford between 2009 and 2011, the Crown Prosecution (CPS) said.
Another victim was also sexually assaulted by one of the gang members.
Peter Mann, head of the complex casework unit at the Crown Prosecution Service for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “These men are responsible for a range of crimes involving child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“One victim was sexually assaulted in a car.
Khalid Zaman, 38, of Bradford, jailed for 17-and-a-half years after being convicted of two counts of rape and supplying class B drugs. He denied all the charges.
“The second victim was groomed, and systematically exploited by the older men she associated with. Some of her abusers acted together as a group, grooming her and plying her with drink and drugs. Others took advantage of her individually.”
Mohammed Ramzan, 35, of Bradford, jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of rape.
West Yorkshire Police said the abuse was first reported to its officers in 2012 by the victim, who was then aged 15 and living in Halifax at the time. A second girl who came forward gave evidence against another gang member.
Background: The victim
The main victim in the case was 13 years old when she was first abused.The girl was said to have come from a chaotic family background who had become addicted to drugs and alcohol during the period of the attacks, which stopped in 2011.
She was eventually taken into social care.
Now 21, she is living a new life with a baby, miles away from Calderdale.
Haaris Ahmed, 32, of Halifax, sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison after he was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child and with the supply of class B drugs.
The force said the case was “the largest and longest running investigation into child sexual exploitation in Calderdale”.
“It led to a major investigation with police conducting nearly 60 hours of interviews with two victims. Detectives also processed 1,848 statements, 2,963 exhibits and more than 20,000 items of disclosure,” police said.
Tahir Mahmood, 43, of Halifax, jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.
In total 25 men were charged. During the trials four defendants were cleared by a jury while three others were acquitted on the orders of the judge.
Mr Mann described it as a “complex and lengthy operation” and said the girls had shown “immense courage and bravery in reporting these matters to the police and in providing evidence”.
Taukeer Butt, 31, of Halifax, jailed for 10 years after he was found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a child.
Sentencing for another member of the gang, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been adjourned until next week.
Amaar Ali Ditta, 27, of Halifax, sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
Azeem Subhani, 25, of Halifax, jailed for nine years after being found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
Talib Saddiq, 31, of Halifax, jailed for eight years after he was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
Sikander Malik, 31, of Halifax, jailed for seven years after being found guilty of sexual activity with a child.
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 43, of Halifax, jailed for six-and-a-half years after being found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child.
Aftab Hussain, 37, of Halifax, jailed for six years after pleading guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child last September.
Mansoor Akhtar, 25, of Huddersfield, was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child but admitted to supplying Class B drugs. He was jailed for six years.
Sikander Ishaq, 31, of Halifax, sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child.
Fasil Mahmood, 37, of Halifax, was jailed for 10 months after he was found guilty of supplying class B drugs.
Farquaan Gafar, 31, of Derby, admitted to one count of sexual touching and is due to be sentenced at a later date.
Juries at four separate trials heard how the schoolgirl was 13 when her mother died after a long illness, by which time she had already got used to fending for herself, sometimes in a house with no electricity or food.
Her father subsequently formed a new relationship and moved out for a time leaving her only with a sister or home alone.
She fell into a chaotic lifestyle and was recorded as vulnerable at school when she turned up wearing makeup and was seen associating with older youths.
By February 2010, her school attendance was only 37 per cent and because of increasing concerns for her welfare the following month she was referred to social services not by her father but by the school after admitting to staff she was habitually getting drunk.
She also disclosed she was spending time with girls who were being given cannabis by Asian men and said she would cruise in cars with men at night but would not say who they were.
When months later she eventually did open up about what was going on she revealed she had starting drinking vodka at the People’s Park in Halifax at the age of 12.
In early 2011 a police officer co-ordinating missing persons in Calderdale recorded she was potentially a victim of child sexual exploitation because she kept being reported missing and returning drunk or under the influence of drugs, but would not disclose to him who was responsible for giving her them.
In spite of the attempts to help her while living with her father and his partner, she would still go missing after slipping out to meet men who she thought were her friends but who were really interested only in using her for their own sexual gratification.
In March that year as part of a risk assessment into her situation she disclosed she was drinking three to four bottles of vodka a week. She also described taking illicit substances including Mcat, cannabis, Ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines.
She said she had had a fit the previous week and believed her drink had been spiked. Throughout the hearing her mobile phone had been ringing continuously but she did not confide about her sexual life.
Days later she was found by police inebriated in the early hours of the morning and said she had consumed vodka, Sambuca, a bottle of Southern Comfort and some cocaine.
She would regularly go cruising with men in cars at night and some of those who exploited her took her to hotels where she was raped by more than one man, but still refused to talk about what was really happening.
She once rang the missing person police co-ordinator to collect her from outside a Bradford hotel but claimed to have been alone all night.
That April her father found her mobile phone had sexually explicit messages on it indicating involvement with a number of men.
Police and social workers tried once again to get her away from her molesters and she was sent to temporary foster care in another town nearby but once again she continued to go missing and stay out overnight returning hungover and sometimes with injuries and love bites.
By the time she was 15 when she was finally moved in July completely away from the Halifax area in a desperate effort to break the cycle of abuse, she tested positive for sexually transmitted disease.
It was only then, away from the influence of her abusers, that she finally began to see she had been groomed and exploited and began to open up to her foster mother and to the police about her life and who was responsible.
She described being taken to houses in Bradford as well as Halifax, to hotels in Bradford, Leeds and London and to a drug dealer’s big house in Manchester, sometimes being given money but mostly drugs and alcohol.
She identified the Campanile hotel, off the M606 in Bradford, as somewhere she had been take to for sex with men and said she was once filmed on a mobile phone being orally raped although that was later deleted.
Many of her abusers she only knew by nicknames or no name at all. Some were identified from CCTV which had been seized from the hotels she could remember, while others were caught because of DNA from stains on her clothing.
Jailing the four convicted of the most serious offences, Judge Marson described her as a deeply damaged child.
“She was given alcohol, drugs and money for sex. There was no love, no affection, no care. She was taken advantage of when she was drunk and under the influence of drugs,” he said.
She did not remember the first time she had sex but believed she had been with over 100 men between the age of 13 and 15. “Often more than one a day and once about 19 men.”
She was subjected to humiliation and degradation “at the hands of men who used and abused her for their own sexual gratification. It must have been obvious to anyone who came into contact with her that she was particularly vulnerable.”
He said she had been plied with drink and drugs. “She was sometimes in such a state of intoxication she was incapable of consenting to any form of sexual activity and that would have been obvious to anyone in her company.”
She contracted gonorrhoea as a result of her lifestyle, suffers flashbacks of what was done to her and has been diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.
“She has been removed away from home and family on a permanent bases. Psychological damage in this case is about as bad as it gets. She will carry this abuse with her for the rest of her life.”
He said they were not her only abusers but each man bore some responsibility for the damage inflicted “and not one of you has shown the slightest remorse for what you did.”
Those jailed for abusing her included Heder Ali from Cheshire sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted on two charges of rape and two of trafficking her for sexual exploitation.
Now 36, with a previous conviction for sexual assault he took her to the Park Hotel in Bradford in the summer of 2011 where she was given alcohol and drugs. “Knowing she was incapable of giving consent you raped her, you took her there knowing not only you would have intercourse with her but other men would.”
“It was gross abuse, she was incapacitated by drink and drugs, you knew it and knew how vulnerable she was,” said Judge Marson.
Haider Ali, now 41, from Halifax was jailed for a total of 20 years after he was found guilty of sexual activity with a child and causing another person to engage in sexual activity with her without consent.
He was 19 years older than the victim when he took her to a flat in Bradford where she said she had sex with him on a sofa after she was given a sachet of some substance which “crackled” in her mouth as well as some drinks which made her feel unwell.
Judge Marson said: “Having abused her yourself you then pinned her against the wall and told her she had to sleep with another man as payment for use of the flat and told her if she did not sleep with him she would not get a lift home.”
He said she had no money to get home herself. “You said she was not leaving until she had slept with him. That other man, whose identity has not been sufficiently ascertained was standing next to you at the time and had a smile on his face.”
“She said she did not want to sleep with him, he took her into a bedroom, locked the door, pinned her arms above her head and raped her.” The court heard he did not wear a condom.
Mohammed Ramzan, 35, from Bradford was jailed for 15 years after he was found guilty of oral rape.
The jury heard he took the schoolgirl to a shop to buy vodka before booking a room in the Campanile hotel in Bradford leaving her in the car while he did that so no one would suspect she was under age.
In the room she drank vodka and took cocaine and after she refused to perform oral sex on him he rang some friends to join him. “While they were there and she was drunk you raped her orally while one of the others recorded it on a telephone.”
The judge said it was later deleted “but you knowing it was being recorded continued with the sexual abuse. You subjected her to that humiliation and degradation in front of others and having achieved your own sexual gratification you left her there.”
Khalid Zaman, 37 from Bradford, was jailed for 17 and a half years after he was convicted on two charges of rape and supplying the girl with Mcat.
He witnessed her being raped by Ramzan, and then raped her himself after she became so incapable having taken more cocaine and alcohol, that she had no recollection of it.
“When you had finished with her you simply left her there in that hotel room. You had no feelings or concern for her.”
Haaris Ahmed, 32 from Halifax, was jailed for 12 and a half years after he was convicted on two charges of sexual activity with a child. He admitted one offence of supplying her with cannabis.
Tauqeer Butt, 31, from Halifax was convicted of four offences of sexual activity with a child and was jailed for 10 years.
Tahir Mahmood, 43 from Halifax, was jailed for 11 years after he was convicted on two charges of sexual activity with the schoolgirl and was also found guilty of sexual assault on a second girl.
Azeem Subhani, 25, from Halifax was sentenced to nine years in prison after he was convicted of two offences of sexual activity with a child.
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 43, from Halifax was convicted of one offence of sexual activity and was jailed for six and a half years.
Amar Ali Ditta 27, from Halifax was jailed for nine years after he was convicted on two charges of sexual activity with a child.
Talib Sadiq, 31 from Halifax was found guilty on two charges of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Sikander Malik, 31, of Halifax was jailed for seven years after he was found guilty on one charge of sexual activity with a child.
Aftab Hussain, 37 from Halifax, was jailed for six years after admitting two offences of sexual activity with a child.
Jailed today were Sikander Ishaq, 31 from Halifax given six years for one offence of sexual activity with a child, Mansoor Akhtar, 25 from Huddersfield jailed for six years after he was convicted of one offence of sexual activity with a child and admitted supplying her with cannabis and Fasil Mahmood, 37 from Halifax convicted on one charge of supplying her with cannabis and jailed for 10 months.