England

Rotherham child abuse charges: Eight guilty

From top, L-R: Asif Ali Waleed Ali, Sageer Hussain, Naeem Rafiq, Mohammed Whied, Masoued Malik, Ishtiaq Khaliq and Basharat Hussain Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption From top, L-R: Asif Ali, Waleed Ali, Sageer Hussain, Naeem Rafiq, Mohammed Whied, Masoued Malik, Ishtiaq Khaliq and Basharat Hussain

Eight men have been found guilty of 16 charges related to the sexual abuse of three girls in Rotherham between 1999 and 2003.

The men, all from Rotherham, are Sageer Hussain, Mohammed Whied, Ishtiaq Khaliq, Waleed Ali, Asif Ali, Masoued Malik, Basharat Hussain and Naeem Rafiq.

They are due to be sentenced on 4 November.

Det Ch Insp Martin Tate said they had committed "vile crimes".

The men were found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court after more than 17 hours of deliberations by the jury.

They "sexualised" their victims, some as young as 13, and subjected them to "degrading and violent" acts.

One girl and her family told police, their MP and then-Home Secretary David Blunkett, but eventually moved to Spain to get away from the men.

The guilty men

  • Sageer Hussain, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, said to be the ringleader, convicted of four rapes and one indecent assault
  • Mohammed Whied, 32, of Psalters Lane, Rotherham, guilty of one count of aiding and abetting rape
  • Ishtiaq Khaliq, 33, of Cherry Brook, Rotherham, guilty of one rape and three indecent assaults
  • Waleed Ali, 34, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, guilty of one rape and one indecent assault
  • Asif Ali, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, convicted of one rape
  • Masoued Malik, 32, of Bridgewater Way, Rotherham, guilty of one rape, one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment
  • Basharat Hussain, 40, from Goole, convicted of one indecent assault
  • Naeem Rafiq, 33, of Clarendon Road, Rotherham, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment

After the verdict, Det Ch Insp Martin Tate of South Yorkshire Police said the trial marked the culmination of three years investigative work by police, Rotherham Council and the Crown Prosecution Service into the calculated and organised sexual exploitation of young girls.

He said the verdicts were of "massive importance" to the victims, who suffered years of abuse.

Image caption Det Ch Insp Martin Tate, who led the South Yorkshire Police investigation urged victims to come forward

"They had to endure what no child should and have shown remarkable bravery throughout our inquiry," he said.

"I am so grateful to these women, many of whom remain incredibly vulnerable, for offering their support to our investigative team.

"I hope by hearing these brave women's accounts, other victims find the strength to tell someone what has or is happening to them."

Image caption The trial began at Sheffield Crown Court on 12 September and the jury retired on 11 October

'Tremendous bravery'

Peter Mann, of Yorkshire and Humberside Crown Prosecution Service, paid tribute to the victims.

"In contrast to the courage and strength of the victims, these men's actions are utterly abhorrent," he said.

"They waged a campaign of sexual violence and intimidation against young girls in the Rotherham area 13 years ago.

"Sageer Hussain in particular took a leading role in befriending the young girls, and in the case of one victim, passed her on to his friends and other associates."

Ian Thomas, strategic director of Children and Young People's Services at Rotherham Council, said: "One of the families central to this case I know quite well.

"They have been to hell and back over the past 14 years.

"This family exemplify why we must redouble efforts across all our communities in tackling child sexual exploitation as a national threat."

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