January 2019

Grooming gang jailed at Oxford Crown Court

A gang of three men who groomed, raped and sexually abused a vulnerable school girl have been handed life sentences.

Mohammed Karrar, 44, Bassam Karrar, 39 and Anjum Dogar, 37, had each denied 10 counts of rape, indecent assault and conspiracy to rape.

A jury took just five hours and three minutes to find them guilty by a unanimous verdict at Oxford Crown Court last month.

At the same court today Judge Peter Ross ordered that each serve life sentences, totalling 48 years between them.

Jailing the men, he described the horrifying abuse of their child victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons, as treating her like a ‘sexual tool’ for their own gratification.

He said: “[The victim] was groomed. She was the subject of grooming behaviour, alcohol, drugs, intimidation, feigned affection was part of it.

“These defendants, and others, played an important part in that grooming process.

“They were aware of it and they were aware of the effect that this grooming behaviour had upon [her].

“She was a vulnerable girl, there were difficulties at home, there were difficulties at school, she led a lonely life, with a picture being painted in the course of the trial of a child who was alone and without affection.”

During the three-week trial jurors were told that between 2002 and 2005 the girl – who was aged between 14 and 16 at the time, was subject to repeated sexual abuse by the men.

In one harrowing instance of rape detailed to the court she revealed that she had been attacked by a number of men while at a party at Plowman Tower, Oxford.

The victim, now a woman, described feeling hands all over her body after she was plied with drink and drugs before passing out.

When she woke up, the court heard, she was naked except for a single sock and covered in blood having suffered injuries, including bite marks.

It was this rape that led to her becoming pregnant, the court heard.

Describing the ordeal she said: “I remember sitting on the sofa and I remember people touching me and pulling at my clothes and stuff, and trying to bat them away.

“I felt like there were hands everywhere. Someone had their hands down my trousers trying to put their fingers inside me.”

Other instances of abuse included being made to dance in her underwear together with another school girl while a number of men watched at an address in Riverside Court, Oxford.

At Cutteslowe Park she was also forced to perform sex acts on a number of men – which Anjum Dogar, taking to the witness box during the trial, described as ‘banter’, an argument jurors ultimately threw out.

The three men were each handed life sentences for the offences and Mohammed Karrar will serve a minimum jail term of 18 years, Bassam Karrar will serve at least 10 years and Dogar will serve a minimum of 20 years.

All are currently serving life sentences for similar offences after they were jailed in 2013 and the new life sentences and minimum terms are effective from today.

Speaking after the verdicts had been handed down Senior investigating officer Mark Glover, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: “These men’s behaviour was predatory, callous and designed purely to sexually exploit a vulnerable teenage girl.

“She put her trust in them at a time when she felt lonely and friendless. These men pretended to be her friends when in fact they only wanted to subject her to sexual abuse.

“Their grooming of her was so elaborate that the victim did not realise that she had been groomed until many years later.

“It is thanks to her courage in talking to police officers and giving evidence during the trial, that these men have been sentenced for their crimes.

“I know the effect that their actions have had on the victim, and the effect they continue to have on her life and relationships.

“I hope that their sentencing will help her to continue to move on her with her life.

“Grooming and sexual abuse destroys lives. If you have been a victim of abuse, even if it did not happen recently, please come forward and report it.”

The verdicts in full:

Mohammed Karrar was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 18 years’ imprisonment for three counts of indecent assault, one count of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape.

Bassam Karrar was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment for one count of indecent assault and one count of rape.

Anjum Dogar was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment for one count of indecent assault, and three counts of conspiracy to rape.

December 2018

Gang who groomed and sexually abused school girl convicted

A gang of three men who groomed and sexually abused a ‘vulnerable’ school girl across Oxford have been convicted on all counts.

Mohammed Karrar, 44, Bassam Karrar, 39 and Anjum Dogar, 36, had denied 10 counts of rape, indecent assault and conspiracy to rape.

A jury took just five hours and three minutes to find them guilty by a unanimous verdict at Oxford Crown Court this afternoon.

During the trial prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said that the men had groomed and sexually abused their victim over a number of years in the early 2000s.

He told jurors they had formed part of a wider group of men who ‘sexually exploited vulnerable young girls for regular, casual and entirely functional sexual contact, in a car, in a park, in someone’s flat.’

He added: “The common theme being sexual gratification that had the appearance of being consensual but in reality, courtesy of the level of exploitation and grooming involved, was anything but consensual.”

The victim of the abuse, a woman who cannot be named for legal reasons, also faced her abusers via live video link at court.

She told the jury panel of a number of instances in which she was either raped or sexually assaulted when she was as young as 14.

She recalled being made to dance in her underwear together with another school girl while a number of men watched at an address in Riverside Court, Oxford.

She also described being sexually abused by a group of men at a party at Plowman Tower, Oxford, and told jurors: “I remember sitting on the sofa and I remember people touching me and pulling at my clothes and stuff, and trying to bat them away.

“I felt like there were hands everywhere. Someone had their hands down my trousers trying to put their fingers inside me.”

She told the court that she next recalled waking up alone and naked except for a single sock she was wearing, and that she was in a great deal of pain and had bite marks on her body.

It was this rape that led to her becoming pregnant, the court heard.

Dogar and Mohammed Karrar both took to the witness box during the trial in a bid to deny any wrong-doing.

Dogar claimed one instance of abuse – at a parked car in Cutteslowe Park in which the victim was forced to perform sex acts on a number of men – was simply ‘banter’.

Karrar claimed he was ‘no angel’ but told jurors he was not a paedophile or a rapist.

Despite their claims of innocence jurors found all men guilty on all counts.

A sentencing date has not yet been set but is expected to take place at Oxford Crown Court.

The verdicts come after another trial ended earlier this year in which eight men were jailed for grooming a number of victims, including the victim in this case.

The verdicts in full:

  • Mohammed Karrar was found guilty by unanimous verdict of three counts of indecent assault, one count of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape.

  • Bassam Karrar was found guilty by unanimous verdict of one count of indecent assault and one count of rape.

  • Dogar was found guilty by unanimous verdict of one count of indecent assault, and three counts of conspiracy to rape.