Seven members of a notorious sex gang who trafficked vulnerable teen girls in the north of England are free from prison just five years after being locked up.
Nine men (eight of whom are pictured above) were imprisoned for their part in an Asian sex abuse ring in Rochdale, near Manchester, in May 2012.
But now it has emerged that, just five years later, all but two have been freed.
The sex trafficking ring saw girls as young as 13 passed between mostly Muslim men in the towns of Rochdale and Oldham.
The horrific abuse went on for years before victims came forward and managed to secure justice. During the trials, Liverpool Crown Court heard that one 13-year-old victim got pregnant and had an abortion, while another had been forced to have sex with 20 men in a single night.
The police later apologized for failing to investigate properly, and were accused of having turned a blind eye to crimes by members of an ethnic minority because they were “petrified of being called racist”.
Members of the gang were jailed for between four and 22 years, with an average sentence of eight years and 11 months.
But due to British criminals usually being released from prison – subject to some conditions – halfway through their jail terms, most of the men are out already.
Here is a breakdown of the convictions:
- Shabir Ahmed, the ringleader (sex assault, trafficking) 22 years
- Mohammed Sajid, rape, trafficking, 12 years
- Kabeer Hassan, rape, 9 years
- Abdul Aziz, trafficking, 9 years
- Adil Khan, trafficking, 8 years
- Abdul Rauf, trafficking, 6 years
- Mohammed Amin, sexual assault, 5 years
- Abdul Qayyum, conspiracy to have sex with a child, 5 years
- Hamid Safi, trafficking, 4 years
According to local newspaper the Manchester Evening News, only Ahmed and Sajid are still in prison.
The British government has attempted to deport Ahmed, Khan, Rauf and Aziz, who were all British-Pakistani dual citizens.
It successfully had the men stripped of their British citizenship, but all four men have since launched legal challenges, funded by UK taxpayers, in an attempt to stay.
The UK’s Court of Appeal will get the final say on whether they can be removed from the country or not.