June 2016

13 men jailed for 150-plus years for schoolgirl sex abuse

A judge has passed jail sentences totaling more than 150 years on 13 men convicted of the horrific sexual abuse of a vulnerable schoolgirl in West Yorkshire.

Four other men have yet to be sentenced in the case which could not previously be reported because of potential prejudice to a series of trials at Leeds Crown Court but restrictions were lifted this afternoon at the end of the fourth and last trial.

The girl from Halifax, was raped and abused between the ages of 13 and 15.

Mansoor Akhtar, 25, has been found guilty of one charge of sexual activity with a child and a charge of supplying Class B drugs.

The prosecution described the victim as “lonely, needy” and seeking friendship and love, she was a teenager who for a long time did not understand that she was a victim of child abuse being groomed and exploited.

On occasions the court heard she sought out the men who abused her simply because she wanted to escape from her unhappy childhood and had no sense of self-preservation or worth or the danger she was putting herself in.

She started drinking vodka and taking drugs mixing with older men and having sex with them. It was only when she was taken into care and moved well away from her abusers she appreciated she had been groomed and exploited and revealed the sex offences to police.

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.

Jailing the four convicted of the most serious offences against her, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC described her as a deeply damaged child who was subjected to the “grossest abuse.”

“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.

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.”