Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham child sex abuse: Six men convicted

Abid Saddiq, Sharaz Hussain, Aftab Hussain and Masaued Malik Image copyright NCA
Image caption Abid Saddiq, Sharaz Hussain, Aftab Hussain and Masaued Malik were all convicted

Six men have been found guilty of a string of sex offences relating to the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Rotherham more than a decade ago.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the men abused their victims between 1998 and 2002.

Abid Saddiq, 38, was convicted of two counts of rape, five of indecent assault, and two of child abduction.

Sharaz Hussain, 35, Masaued Malik, 35, and Aftab Hussain, 40, were convicted of indecent assault.

Two other defendants who cannot be named for legal reasons were convicted of rape and indecent assault.

During the five-week trial, the jury heard how the girls were targeted due to their vulnerability and were given alcohol and drugs before some were raped by multiple men.

Violence was sometimes used to ensure they complied, the court heard.

Jurors also heard Saddiq raped a girl in an alleyway when she was aged 14 or 15, then taunted her mother.

The father-of-four admitted having sex with some of the complainants, but claimed they were over age at the time and consented.

The convictions are the latest to arise from a major National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation, Operation Stovewood.

It looked into sexual abuse and exploitation in Rotherham covering the years 1997 to 2013.

The agency has said it believes 1,510 teenagers were exploited in the town during the period.

Senior investigating officer Philip Marshall said the men had exploited vulnerable girls for their own sexual gratification.

Kate Hurst, from the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "Each of these men knew the girls were either vulnerable and underage. They were reckless and did not care if they were children or not."

The six men were all remanded and are due to be sentenced on Friday.

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