Large-scale Asian sex gang face prison
Shocking details of a large-scale Asian sex gang who spent four years plying vulnerable young girls with drink and drugs at ‘sex parties’ in Newcastle can be revealed for the first time today.
A total of 17 men and one woman have been convicted of, or have admitted, charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution, in a series of trials at Newcastle Crown Court.
Older men preyed on immature teenagers who were plied with cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or mephedrone (M-Cat), then raped or persuaded into having sexual activity at parties known as ‘sessions’.
The case has raised huge controversy after a convicted rapist was paid almost £10,000 of taxpayers’ money to spy on parties where under-age girls were intoxicated and sexually abused.
Northumbria Police launched a major investigation after receiving information from social workers and initially spoke to 108 potential victims.
Over the course of four trials, 20 young women gave evidence covering a period from 2011 to 2014.
Those prosecuted were from the Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish communities and were mainly British-born, with most living in the West End of Newcastle.
The court heard that one of the men convicted, 37-year-old Badrul Hussain, was heard telling a ticket collector on the Tyne and Wear Metro: ‘All white women are good for one thing, for men like me to f*** and use as trash, that is all women like you are worth.’
The sex ring was exposed when two women spoke to the authorities in 2013 and within weeks police had made 27 arrests under an investigation which became known as Operation Shelter.
During a series of trials that followed, one young person gave evidence on six separate occasions in front of six different juries about her plight.
Defendants who have been sentenced:
Saiful Islam, 35, of Newcastle, was jailed for 10 years in January 2016 for raping a 15-year-old girl in 2011.
Yasser Hussain, 28, of Newcastle, was jailed for two years in October 2015 for a sex attack and for allowing his premises to be used in the supply of drugs after a jury heard how he hosted parties.
Mohammed Hassan Ali, 34, of Newcastle, was jailed for seven years in December 2015 for sexual activity with a child, supplying cannabis and possession with intent to supply M-Kat.
Redwan Siddique, 32, of Newcastle, was jailed for 16 months in February for supplying M-Kat to a 19-year-old in return for sex at his student digs in 2013.
Defendants yet to be sentenced:
Carolann Gallon, 22, from Newcastle, aged 17-18 at the time, admitted three offences of trafficking girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Mohammed Azram, 35, of Newcastle, admitted five drugs offences and was convicted of one count of sexual assault and one count of conspiracy to incite prostitution for gain.
Jahangir Zaman, 45, of Newcastle, was convicted of rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution.
Nashir Uddin, 35, of Newcastle, was convicted of sexual assault, allowing premises to be used to supply drugs, conspiracy to incite prostitution and who admitted four counts of supplying drugs and three of possessing drugs.
Abdulhamid Minoyee, 34, of Newcastle, was convicted of rape and sexual assault and pleaded guilty to supplying drugs.
Eisa Mousavi, 42, of Newcastle, was convicted of three counts of rape, two counts of supplying drugs, allowing premises to be used for the supply of drugs and conspiracy to incite prostitution.
Monjur Choudhury, 33, of Newcastle, was convicted of supplying drugs, permitting premises to be used for the supply of drugs and conspiracy to incite prostitution.
Taherul Alam, 32, Newcastle, who was convicted of two counts of supplying drugs, one count of permitting premises to be used for supplying drugs, attempting to sexually assault, and of conspiracy to incite prostitution.
Prabhat Nelli, 33, Newcastle, who was convicted of two counts of supplying drugs and one count of conspiracy to incite prostitution.
Nadeem Aslam, 43, Newcastle, who admitted possessing cannabis and was convicted of two counts of supplying drugs, one count of possessing drugs and one count of permitting premises to be used in the supply of drugs.
The final trial saw three men convicted and one man admit charges against him.
Habibur Rahim, 34, of Fenham, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to incite prostitution, relating to eight different victims. He supplied them with cannabis and mephedrone and was also convicted of a number of trafficking for sexual exploitation offences. He was convicted of one count of rape.
Abdul Sabe, 40, of Newcastle, was convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, conspiracy to traffic for sexual exploitation, conspiracy to sexual assault, and supplying drugs to victims. He was already on the sex offenders’ register.
Badrul Hussain, 37, of Newcastle, was convicted of allowing drugs to be used at his premises and of supplying drugs. He was cleared of inciting prostitution for gain.
Mohibur Rahman, 44, known to victims as Jimmy, admitted conspiracy to incite prostitution and five drugs charges.
Defendants not yet sentenced will be back next month.
A total of 17 men and one woman have now been convicted of a string of offences and face jail when they are sentenced next month.
Four of the men – Mohammed Ali, Solful Islam, Yasser Hussain and Redwan Siddquee – have already been sent to prison for a total of 20 years and four months.
The wider operation has seen around 100 people convicted of a range of serious offences, including drugs, modern-day slavery and firearms charges, with jail terms totalling more than 300 years.
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman said in a statement today: ‘To date we have arrested 461 people, spoken to 703 potential complainants and have found 278 victims.
‘In total we now have 93 convictions delivering more than 300 years of imprisonment in addition to today’s convictions.’
He added: ‘Many of us will never understand the traumatic experience some of these women and girls have endured and they have my wholehearted commitment that, together with our partners, we will continue to provide them with all the support they need. They have trusted us and we must not let them down.
‘We have thrown the kitchen sink at this – a team of 50 officers have worked on this inquiry for almost three and a half years and continue to do so.
‘We have not and will not stop. We have employed every technique available to us, covert and overt, in tackling the problem.’
Prosecutor John Elvidge told Newcastle Crown Court at the start of one of the trials: ‘The prosecution say the case concerns the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young women and girls in Newcastle.
‘The events happened over a period of time between 2010 and 2014 and involved immature young women and teenage girls being exploited, say the prosecution, by a group of older men, using drugs and alcohol.’
The prosecutor added: ‘You will hear the girls were exposed to a party culture where young women such as these were lured to parties known as sessions by the offer of intoxicants, alcohol and drugs, which were made freely available to them to incite them to perform sexual services in return.
‘During this period of time this method of exploitation became well established in the West End of Newcastle particularly and provided a form of recreation for a group of men including these defendants, who were active in organising parties in the expectation the girls who came would be involved in sexual activity.
‘The prosecution say in this period these defendants and other men were party to a conspiracy to incite prostitution using drugs and alcohol at these sessions or parties in Newcastle. Mcat was a drug of choice used to exploit young women.’
One girl who gave evidence claimed she was repeatedly raped by men acting as if they were in a ‘relay race’ at one of the sex parties.
The vulnerable 13-year-old, who was in local authority care, told the court how she would regularly be supplied with cash, cigarettes and drugs in exchange for sex.
She spoke of how she would be picked up in a Mercedes from the children’s home where she was living and taken to flats in Newcastle to be used by anyone who wanted her.
Prosecutor John Elvedge QC told the court how during one attack she was high on cocaine while men took turns to have sex with her.
Mr Elvedge said: ‘She said she felt wrecked. The man who brought the Mcat had sex with her when she was in no position to consent.
‘The second man was followed by several others, all taking advantage of her.
‘She said it was like a relay race, one man after another, each having sexual intercourse with her to which she did not consent.’
On another occasion, the girl was taken to a party at a flat where there was a group of seven men in a room with a Kurdish flag on the wall and was given Mcat, the court heard.
Mr Elvedge added: ‘She attempted to resist the first man. She was given more Mcat then, one by one, they took their turn having sexual intercourse with her.’
The court heard when she left she was driven back to the children’s home and given £200 along with more Mcat.
The girl was a frequent runaway who would regularly go missing.
Mr Elvidge said: ‘The young women are now in their early 20s. You will gather when they were involved with the defendants they were leading extraordinary lives.
‘The prosecution say it was their vulnerability that made it easier for them to be exploited and abused. They were females who were relatively naive and vulnerable.
‘They were the victims of organised, well-practised cynical exploitation and were passed between abusers.’