Nine guilty over child exploitation ring

Nine men were found guilty today of being part of a child sexual exploitation ring involving vulnerable girls.

Five girls were “shared” by Kabeer Hassan, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Rauf, Mohammed Sajid, Adil Khan, Abdul Qayyum, Mohammed Amin, Hamid Safi and a 59-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The 10-week trial was told that the men - who are all from Pakistan, apart from Safi who is from Afghanistan - groomed the teenage girls because they were vulnerable.

The jury of three men and nine women heard that the defendants plied the girls, some as young as 13, with fast food, drink and drugs so they could “pass them around” and use them for sex.

One 13-year-old victim became pregnant and had the child aborted.

Another gave evidence of being raped by two men while she was “so drunk she was vomiting over the side of the bed”.

The court heard that some of the girls were raped and physically assaulted and some were forced to have sex with “several men in a day, several times a week”.

The 59-year-old man was found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16, two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, one count of sexual assault and an allegation of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

Taxi driver Abdul Aziz, 41, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

He was found not guilty of two counts of rape.

Kabeer Hassan, 25, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, Greater Manchester, was found guilty of conspiracy and rape.

Adil Khan, 42, of Oswald Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Abdul Rauf, 43, of Darley Road, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Mohammed Sajid, 35, of Jepheys Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy, trafficking, one count of rape and one count of sexual activity with a child.

Abdul Qayyum, 44, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy.

Mohammed Amin, 45, of Falinge Road, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and sexual assault.

Hamid Safi, 22, who was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking but not guilty of two counts of rape.

Liaquat Shah, 41, of Kensington Street, Rochdale, was cleared sexual assault by the jury and was cleared of conspiracy after the jury was unable to agree a verdict and the prosecution offered no further evidence.

Qamar Shahzad, 30, of Conisborough, Rochdale, was found not guilty of conspiracy.

It took the jury of three men and nine women 21 hours and 22 minutes to reach all their verdicts.

Judge Gerald Clifton adjourned sentencing until tomorrow.

The offences happened in and around Rochdale in 2008 and 2009.

Police said one victim was forced to have sex with 20 men in one night when she was drunk.

Police said she could “barely recount the events” but her friend was downstairs and remembers “innumerable men” going upstairs.

The father of one victim told the court he joined the BNP after he heard what had happened to his daughter.

At the start of the trial Rachel Smith, for the prosecution, told the jury: “No child should be exploited as these girls say they were.”

Miss Smith said the girls - aged between 13 and 15 - were given alcohol, food and money in return for sex but that there were times when violence was used.

”There were also occasions on which one or more of the girls were so incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs that they were incapable of having any control over whether or with whom they had sexual intercourse,” she said.

Only one of the girls was in care at the time of the abuse but all were said to have been known to social services at some point in their childhood.

Police said the victims were from “chaotic”, “council estate” backgrounds.

The girls were targeted in “honeypot locations” where young people were seen to congregate, such as outside takeaways.

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