Ten men were sentenced up to 25 years in jail for sex offences against a Rochdale teenage girl. One man was jailed last year, while nine other defendants were sentenced on Friday at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
The victim went to the police, following the widespread media coverage of a number of Asian defendants who were convicted in 2012 in Liverpool Crown Court for grooming girls for sex. She said that she had been repeatedly sexually groomed for men in Rochdale from the age of 14.
Between 2005 and 2010, the sexual offences took place in Rochdale and the surrounding area, along with other under-age victims.
According to Judge John Potter, the convictions would not have been possible if not for the “bravery, courage and fortitude” of the victims to provide court evidence despite of the way they were mistreated and abused.
The Rochdale victim gave evidence in two separate trials that ran for 15 weeks in total. At which time, several other complainants came forward to testify. They were aged 13 to 22 during the trial.
Their testimonies secured convictions of some of the defendants.
Afraz Ahmed, 33, of Oswald Street, Rochdale will spend 25 years in jail for various sexual offences. Another offender got 23 years, while others were sentenced to 19, 16, 11, or 5 years in jail.
Ahmed asked the judge if he could say something after his sentence was read, but was ordered to leave the dock.
Senior investigating officer Det Chief Insp Jamie Daniels said that “CSE is more than a criminal issue – it is a social problem”. Although criminal investigations and convictions allowed authorities to take the offender off the street, there is still a lot of work to be done.
The well-being of victims must be taken care of long after a trial is over.
Senior Crown prosecutor, Alison Cartmell, from the CPS North West complex casework unit paid tribute to the victims who took a stand against their abusers.