Cambridgeshire

Peterborough grooming trial: Mohammed Khubaib jailed for 13 years

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Media captionMohammed Khubaib was jailed for grooming girls in Peterborough, as Jon Brain reports from outside court

A businessman who plied teenage girls with vodka before sexually abusing them has been sentenced to 13 years.

Peterborough restaurant owner Mohammed Khubaib, 43, was convicted of rape and grooming offences last month.

During his trial at the Old Bailey, the jury was told he forced a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him after getting her drunk.

He had a "persistent and almost predatory interest" in girls, the court heard.

Det Supt Gary Ridgway from Cambridgeshire Police said the sentence showed "just how serious this type of offence is".

"This represents justice for young people who had the courage to stand up in court and relive some very difficult experiences," he said.

Khubaib was the tenth person to be convicted under Operation Erle, which focussed on allegations of sex abuse by other groups of men and boys against young girls.

Four previous cases led to nine male defendants being jailed for 59 offences against 15 girls from Peterborough and elsewhere in the East Midlands.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Khubaib was sentenced to 13 years in prison

"We are pleased with this sentence today as it represents justice for the girls and young women who suffered at the hands of this vicious criminal," said Wendi Ogle-Welbourn, from Peterborough City Council.

She praised the "bravery" of the victims who had given evidence during the course of the trial.

"Their courage in reliving some absolutely horrendous experiences at the hands of this criminal has enabled us to get the result we did today and means that other girls and young women are safer in our city," she said.

Cambridgeshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright described Khubaib's actions as "crime of the worst kind".

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