Five men have been jailed for sexually abusing vulnerable girls in Rotherham – as a judge criticised “ineffectual” authorities for failing to protect the victims.
The girls, who were plied with alcohol and drugs and threatened with violence, were deliberately targeted for the sole purpose of becoming “sexual objects” for the defendants, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
Judge Michael Slater described one of the convicted men, Abid Saddiq, as a “cunning and determined sexual predator”, while one victim told the court: “They took my childhood away”.
Aftab Hussain, 40, was jailed for 24 years and Abid Saddiq, 38, was jailed for 20 years by a judge who described Saddiq as a “cunning and determined sexual predator”.
Masaued Malik, 35, was jailed for five years; Sharaz Hussain, 35, was jailed for four years and another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for 10 years.
During sentencing, Judge Slater said that during the late 90s and early 00s it had become “common practice for significant numbers of Asian males and local teenage girls to meet up, either in the day or at night, in various locations in and around Rotherham town centre.
“The result of these liaisons was that, more often than not, casual perfunctory sex would take place either there and then or in more secluded locations such as private properties,” he said. Judge Slater said the girls, who were under 16, were threatened with violence if they weren’t willing to comply with the men’s demands. “Each one of them has suffered severe physical and emotional trauma and continues to do so,” he said.
Mr Slater criticised the authorities who were working in the borough at the time of the offending. He said: “I’m quite satisfied that the relevant authorities were well aware of this lamentable state of affairs.” Mr Slater said that the council were either at best “totally ineffective” or at worst “wholly indifferent”.
There were actually seven men convicted – I must watch out in case there is reporting permitted as and when they are sentenced.