the child sex grooming ring which saw nine “pure evil” men jailed for a total of 77 years on Wednesday saw some of the victims brought to Nelson and Colne to be sexually abused.
Liverpool Crown Court was told during the 11-week trial girls from the Heywood area, some as young as 13, were taken to towns across the North-West, including Nelson and Colne, over a between 2008 and 2010.
The vulnerable girls, some of them runaways or in the care of social services, were given the attention they craved before being plied with drink, raped and driven all over the North to have sex with other men.
One of the nine men, Mohammed Sajid (35), of Jephys Street, Rochdale, said to have worked at a Nelson cash and carry, was jailed for 12 years after he was convicted of conspiracy, sexual activity with a child, rape and trafficking. Earlier in the trial, the jury was ordered to find him not guilty of one rape charge.
The other gang members were:
lA 59-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, jailed for 19 years for two counts of rape, one sex assault, one of trafficking and conspiracy.
l Kabeer Hassan (24), of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, jailed for nine years for rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
l Abdul Aziz (41), of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, jailed for nine years for trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. He was also cleared of two counts of rape.
l Abdul Rauf (43), of Darley Road, Rochdale, jailed for six years for trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
l Adil Khan (42), of Oswald Street, Rochdale, jailed for eight years for conspiracy and trafficking.
l Abdul Qayyum (43), of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, jailed for five years for conspiracy.
l Mohammed Amin (44), of Falinge Road, Rochdale, jailed for five years for sex assaults and conspiracy.
l Hamid Safi ( 22), of Kensington Street, Rochdale, jailed for four years for trafficking and conspiracy. He was also found not guilty of two counts of rape.
All the convicted men have been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Two other men were found not guilty. Qamar Shahzad and Liaqat Shah were acquitted of all charges.
Jailing the men, Judge Gerald Clifton said: “You have all been convicted by the jury after a long trial of grave sexual offences which were committed between 2008 and 2010.
“These involved the grooming and sexual exploitation of several girls, aged in their early teens.
“In some cases those girls were raped, callously, viciously and violently.
“Some of you acted as you did to satiate your lust, some of you to make money, all of you treated them as though they were worthless and beyond respect.
“I believe one of the factors that led to that was that they were not of your community or religion.”
After the convictions, Det Chf Supt Mary Doyle, described the defendants as “pure evil”. She said: “These offences are the worst offences you can possibly imagine against vulnerable young children.
“Let’s not shy away from the fact the victims are children. It was an incredibly difficult and complex case to investigate not least because of the amount of support the victims understandably required throughout.
“It was pure evil. They were exploiting the vulnerable in our society for their own gratification.
“They groomed their victims who introduced them to other girls. They thought it was a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. They would supply them with alcohol and kebabs and free taxi rides and actually some of the girls thought they were in a genuine relationship. It was sustained.
“They were raped and subjected to humiliation and degradation. You cannot think of a worse set of offences. In some instance it was several men at a time. These girls were just passed around other men.
“This sends out a clear message we are willing to investigate and will investigate these kinds of offences until these people are brought to justice.”