Nine guilty of child exploitation
Nine men have been found guilty 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 offences happened in and around Rochdale in 2008 and 2009.
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". Liverpool Crown 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, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking but not guilty of two counts of rape. Liaquat Shah, 41, of Kensington Street, Rochdale, was cleared of 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.
Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service apologised after they failed to bring the case of the first victim to trial following her cry for help in August 2008. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is spearheading an investigation into that botched inquiry.
It can also now be reported that the trial was delayed by two weeks when two Asian barristers quit the case due to intimidation by far right groups outside Liverpool Crown Court. Also, the trial almost collapsed following a tweet from BNP leader Nick Griffin.