Four men from Newcastle sex grooming network jailed for almost half a century
Four members of a gang who targeted vulnerable women and girls in Newcastle were jailed for a total of almost fifty years on Wednesday.
A group of 17 men, and one female, have been convicted of targeting teenagers, who were plied with drink and drugs then expected to provide sexual favours in return.
A young woman, who was abused by the gang in Newcastle, told a court she suffers from regular night terrors and now sleeps with a knife by her bedside.
The girl, who has depression and has started losing her hair, was raped by Habibur Rahim who used a wardrobe to barricade her in the room with him.
The 34-year-old father-of-two from Fenham, Newcastle, had already plied her with alcohol and drugs.
Rahim, known as Sham, was part of the North East gang which groomed vulnerable girls, often exploiting and prostituting them to other men.
Northumbria Police controversially investigated the group with the help of an informant called XY who himself was a child rapist who was paid £10,000 for his information.
In a victim statement read out at Newcastle Crown Court the girl, who was 17 at the time, said: “I have suffered severe depression and a split personality.
“I feel paranoid all the time and don’t feel safe in my own flat, I have started losing my hair.
“I wake up in the night fearing Sham is in the flat. I keep wanting to take my own life to get away from it all. I now sleep with a knife by my bed.
“My boyfriend is scared to leave me alone in case I try to kill myself.”
Rahim was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to incite prostitution, relating to eight different victims, a number of trafficking for sexual exploitation offences and one count of rape.
Jailing him for 29 years, Judge Penny Moreland said he had been a high profile and active member of the group and had engaged in “sustained and systematic abuse”.
She said he had caused extreme harm to his victims by cultivating their dependence on alcohol and drugs.
Rahim was joined in the dock by Abdul Sabe, 40, Badrul Hussain, 37 and Mohibur Rahman, 44, and despite the serious nature of the charges, Judge Moreland was forced to ask them to stop “stretching and yawning”.
Sabe, of Dean House, Walker, Newcastle, was jailed for 12 years for 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 having previously exposed himself to women on the street.
Hussain, of Drybeck Court, Newcastle, was jailed for four years for allowing drugs to be used at his premises and of supplying drugs.
Rahman, known to victims as Jimmy, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for conspiracy to incite prostitution and five drugs charges.
Judge Moreland repeated her statement from a previous sentencing that there was no evidence for the offences being racially aggravated and the gang picked out their victims because they were young and vulnerable.
More gang members will be dealt with throughout the week.