Leeds & West Yorkshire

Huddersfield grooming gang members guilty of further offences

Mohammed Akram and Usman Khalid Image copyright West Yorkshire Police/PA
Image caption Mohammed Akram and Usman Khalid were previously convicted of other sexual offences as part of a investigation into a gang that groomed and abused girls

Two members of a grooming gang who took advantage of a vulnerable girl in Huddersfield have been convicted of further sex offences.

Leeds Crown Court heard the girl was "deliberately targeted" for sex throughout her childhood and was taken out of a children's home to be abused.

Mohammed Akram, of Springdale Street, was convicted of offences including rape, abduction and trafficking.

Usman Khalid was convicted of sexually assaulting the same victim.

The men were investigated as part of a gang that groomed and abused girls, some as young as 11, between 2004 and 2011 in West Yorkshire.

In 2018, 20 of the gang's members were sentenced for the "inhuman" abuse of a total of 15 girls.

Akram and Khalid's three-week trial is the fourth to take place involving the gang.

The latest proceedings centred on allegations that a vulnerable girl was abused in the town at the age of 12.

In opening the case for the prosecution, Richard Wright QC said the victim was "deliberately targeted by men who wanted to use her for their own sexual purposes".

Image caption The two men were convicted following a three-week trial at Leeds Crown Court

The prosecutor said that both Akram, 33, and 31-year-old Khalid, of Brook Street, had "sexual contact" with the girl, despite knowing she was underage.

Their actions contributed to her being "drawn into a world in which she had little or no control of her life and was utterly unable to make truly free or informed choices about anything where sex was concerned", the jury heard.

Akram was found guilty of four counts of rape, as well as a count of sexual assault by a majority verdict.

He was also convicted of trafficking for sexual exploitation and abduction, but was cleared of one rape charge.

Jurors failed to reach verdicts on two other defendants, Naveeda Habib, 40, and Shahnaz Malik, 57, who were both accused of child cruelty.

Akram and Khalid will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court at a later date.

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