January 2017

Iranian sex gang leaders who groomed and abused 14-year-old girl ‘fear execution’ if they are deported

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Mehdi Zare (left) and Mohammad Rostami

TWO IRANIAN Pizza Shop workers who groomed and sexually abused a 14-year-old girl fear they could be executed in their homeland if they are deported after serving a total of 33 years in prison.

Mohammed Rostami, 37, of The Renown, Shoebury, and Mehdi Zare, 32, of Lupin Drive, Chelmsford, were found guilty after a trial of abusing the girl over several years and supplying her with drugs.

Another man, Amin Kaveh, 35, also of The Renown in Shoebury, was jailed for a total of ten years for his role in supplying the victim, another teenager and a young woman with drugs, as well as for a leading role in an Essex-wide drugs conspiracy. 

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Amin Kaveh

Sentencing the men, Judge Patricia Lynch called their crimes “abhorrent” and said they treated their victim “like a piece of meat”.

She said: “Ten years ago, because she was a troubled child she would have had no voice. Nobody would have listened to her and nobody would have believed her.

“But it’s because she was a troubled child that she was so vulnerable. She was easy prey.

“Sexual activity with a child is abhorrent but what’s more abhorrent is the grooming with drugs, inducing cocaine addiction, and then pimping that child out to other men with the same proclivities.”

Gareth Hughes, mitigating for Zare, said deportation proceedings started against his client following a separate conviction for drugs offences in 2015.

He said: “These sort of offences involving sexual activity with children are a capital offence in Iran. So if he is to be deported at some stage his future is really precarious.

“That’s something that he will have to live with. It’s a fact that is causing him considerable fear.”

The teenage victim met Rostami when he worked in a pizza shop in Duke Street, Chelmsford in 2006. He offered her free pizza and asked her to be his girlfriend. The pair ended up having sex in his car and on numerous other occasions.

Rostami deliberately got her hooked on cocaine and paid her with drugs in return for her agreeing to have sex with dozens of other Iranian men.
He passed her to Zare a few years later when he met his future wife.

He continued the pattern of abuse, even taking her to a loft space above CM Pizza in Duke Street for sex.

The court was read a statement from the victim who said the men “took away my innocence” and deserved long prison sentences.

She said: “By the time they get out I want for me and my family to have moved on with our lives.

“I don’t want another child to go through what I and my family have gone through for the last ten years.

“After doing something like this, how can they call themselves human beings?”

Rostami was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child; one count of causing or inciting sexual exploitation of a child; supplying a controlled drug of class A to another; supplying a controlled drug of class B to another.

The jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict on one count of rape so the offence will lie on file.

Zare was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child; arranging or facilitating sexual exploitation of a child; supplying a class A drug to another; three counts of supplying a class B drug to another.

He was cleared of two counts of sexual activity with a child.

Amin Kaveh was found guilty of supplying a controlled cannabis and admitted a further two counts of supplying drugs before the trial.

He was cleared of one count of sexual assault; three counts of rape; causing or inciting prostitution for gain.

A charge of controlling prostitution for gain relating to a 16-year-old girl was dismissed during the trial.

The victim and her family were in court for the hearing, and breathed a sigh of relief as the pair were handed long sentences.

Addressing Zare, Judge Lynch said: “Although you didn’t groom her and get her addicted you were aware that she had been groomed and you were aware that she was being used like a piece of meat.

“You dealt with her as a commodity not a human being and not the child that she was.”

The victim and her family were in court for the hearing, and breathed a sigh of relief as the pair were indeed handed long sentences.

Rostami was jailed for a total of 15 years for the sexual offences, plus another six years for his admitted part in a seperate drugs conspiracy. The sentences are consecutive, meaning he will serve a total of 21 years.

Zare was jailed for a total of 12 years for the sexual offences. He was not part of the drugs conspiracy.

Amin Kaveh was found guilty of supplying cannabis and admitted a further two counts of supplying drugs before the trial.

He was cleared of one count of sexual assault; three counts of rape and causing or inciting prostitution for gain.

A charge of controlling prostitution for gain relating to a 16-year-old girl was dismissed during the trial.

Kaveh was jailed for a total of one year for the drugs offences, however, he was found guilty at a previous trial of a conspiracy to supply mephedrone, alongside Rostami and two other men.

He was jailed for ten years for his role, making a total of ten years.