Grooming gang jailed for the rape and assault of two young girls in Huddersfield
19 February 2020, 21:00
Six "predatory men" have been jailed for raping and assaulting two young girls in Huddersfield "for their own perverted gratification."
The men in the gang were found guilty of nine counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, following the sexual abuse of two vulnerable girls between 1995 and 2011.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC described their actions as "disgusting and degrading" and said he hoped the severity of the sentences would deter others from similar "insidious and persistent" grooming.
"The way these girls were treated defies understanding. The abuse was vile and wicked," he added.
"It is clear that both have been and remain profoundly affected by the abuse which ended some years ago."
Judge Marson said the gang created a relationship of trust that allowed "predatory men to perpetrate gross sexual abuse for their own perverted gratification."
The two victims did not know each other and were aged just 13 and 14 when the grooming began in the mid-1990s. The judge said the girls were controlled by violence or the threat of violence against themselves and their families.
Jurors heard evidence of one of the victims going missing and returning home "heavily under the influence of alcohol or drugs" sometimes naked on her lower half and with injuries.
She was raped by every defendant in this case.
The judge said the second victim was regularly plied with drugs and alcohol "in order to facilitate the gross sexual abuse by the older men."
Both victims told the court they continued to be affected by their traumatic experiences.
Reading their victim impact statements, Andrea Parnham, prosecuting, said the second victim tried to report the abuse to police in 1997.
Ms Parnham said: "She kept it buried for 22 years. She tried to report an incident in 1997 but she was disbelieved and felt let down by them."
One of the victims now suffers from nightmares, flashbacks, PTSD and anxiety, while the other suffers from PTSD, depression and bulimia.
The defendants were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday, making it the sixth trial of West Yorkshire Police's Operation Tendersea investigation into child sexual exploitation.
The men and their sentences are:
- Usman Ali (34) of Park Drive, Huddersfield, was sentenced to eight years in custody after being found guilty of two offences of rape against one victim
- Gul Riaz (43) of Balmoral Avenue, Huddersfield, was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of an offence of rape and two indecent assaults against one victim and a rape offence against the other
- Banaras Hussain (39) of Scarborough Road, Shipley, was sentenced to nine and a half years after being found guilty of an offence of rape against one victim
- Abdul Majid (36) of Lightcliffe Road, Huddersfield, was sentenced to 11 years after being found guilty of two offences of rape against one victim
- A 36-year-old Huddersfield man was sentenced to eight years after being found guilty of an offence of rape against one victim
- A 30-year-old Huddersfield man was sentenced to four years after being found guilty of an offence of rape against one victim
- Another 37-year-old Huddersfield man was found guilty of rape against one victim and will be sentenced on Thursday 20 February
Ali, Hussain, Majid, Riaz and two other men had previously been found guilty of rape.
A total of 34 men have now been convicted following the Tendersea inquiry, with prison sentences totalling more than 300 years.
DCI Richard McNamara of Kirklees District, West Yorkshire Police said: “The sentences handed down to these men today reflect the depravity of their actions and I hope it will bring some comfort to their victims to see them jailed.
“Their actions in targeting and sexually abusing these very young and vulnerable girls were utterly despicable and I am very pleased the courts have recognised this and put them behind bars for a number of years.
He also urged anyone "who may have been the victim of child sexual abuse in Kirklees or elsewhere" to contact the police if they had not already done so.