Leeds & West Yorkshire

Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls

The men jailed are: (top l to r) Hedar Ali, Haider Ali, Khalid Zaman, Mansoor Akhtar, Sikander Ishaq (middle l to r) Mohammed Ramzan, Haaris Ahmed, Tahir Mahmood, Taukeer Butt, Amaar Ali Ditta (bottom l to r) Talib Saddiq, Azeem Subhani, Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Aftab Hussain, Sikander Malik Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Thirteen members of the gang were jailed on Thursday

Fifteen men who "systematically" groomed and sexually abused teenage girls in Halifax have been jailed.

They were convicted of child sex offences including rape, grooming and trafficking during three separate trials at Leeds Crown Court.

Prosecutors praised the "immense courage and bravery" of the two victims who gave evidence against the men.

The longest sentence passed was 25 years in what was described as a "complex and lengthy operation".

The gang of men abused a young girl in Halifax and Bradford between 2009 and 2011, the Crown Prosecution (CPS) said.

Another victim was also sexually assaulted by one of the gang members.

'Largest' investigation

Peter Mann, head of the complex casework unit at the Crown Prosecution Service for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "These men are responsible for a range of crimes involving child sexual exploitation and abuse.

"One victim was sexually assaulted in a car.

"The second victim was groomed, and systematically exploited by the older men she associated with. Some of her abusers acted together as a group, grooming her and plying her with drink and drugs. Others took advantage of her individually."

West Yorkshire Police said the abuse was first reported to its officers in 2012 by the victim, who was then aged 15 and living in Halifax at the time. A second girl who came forward gave evidence against another gang member.


Background: The victim

  • The main victim in the case was 13 years old when she was first abused.
  • The girl was said to have come from a chaotic family background who had become addicted to drugs and alcohol during the period of the attacks, which stopped in 2011.
  • She was eventually taken into social care.
  • Now 21, she is living a new life with a baby, miles away from Calderdale.

The force said the case was "the largest and longest running investigation into child sexual exploitation in Calderdale".

"It led to a major investigation with police conducting nearly 60 hours of interviews with two victims. Detectives also processed 1,848 statements, 2,963 exhibits and more than 20,000 items of disclosure," police said.

In total 25 men were charged. During the trials four defendants were cleared by a jury while three others were acquitted on the orders of the judge.

Mr Mann described it as a "complex and lengthy operation" and said the girls had shown "immense courage and bravery in reporting these matters to the police and in providing evidence".


The defendants

  • Hedar Ali, 36, of Bradford, was jailed for 25 years after being found guilty of two counts of rape and two counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Haider Ali, 41, of Halifax, sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of sexual activity with a child and causing a person to engage in sexual activity.
  • Khalid Zaman, 38, of Bradford, jailed for 17-and-a-half years after being convicted of two counts of rape and supplying class B drugs. He denied all the charges.
  • Mohammed Ramzan, 35, of Bradford, jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of rape.
  • Haaris Ahmed, 32, of Halifax, sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison after he was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child and with the supply of class B drugs.
  • Tahir Mahmood, 43, of Halifax, jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.
  • Taukeer Butt, 31, of Halifax, jailed for 10 years after he was found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a child.
  • Amaar Ali Ditta, 27, of Halifax, sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
  • Azeem Subhani, 25, of Halifax, jailed for nine years after being found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
  • Talib Saddiq, 31, of Halifax, jailed for eight years after he was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
  • Sikander Malik, 31, of Halifax, jailed for seven years after being found guilty of sexual activity with a child.
  • Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 43, of Halifax, jailed for six-and-a-half years after being found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child.
  • Aftab Hussain, 37, of Halifax, jailed for six years after pleading guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child last September.
  • Mansoor Akhtar, 25, of Huddersfield, was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child but admitted to supplying Class B drugs. He was jailed for six years.
  • Sikander Ishaq, 31, of Halifax, sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child.
  • Fasil Mahmood, 37, of Halifax, was jailed for 10 months after he was found guilty of supplying class B drugs.
  • Farquaan Gafar, 31, of Derby, admitted to one count of sexual touching and is due to be sentenced at a later date.
  • Sentencing for another member of the gang, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been adjourned until next week.

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