14:23, February 19 304 0 theguardian.com

2020-02-19 14:23:10
Six men jailed for rape and assault of two girls in Huddersfield

Six men who sexually exploited two vulnerable young girls in Huddersfield have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

The girls – who were aged 13 and 14 when the grooming began – were abused between 1995 and 2011. One is said to have come to the attention of the group while on a paper round.

On Wednesday, the defendants sentenced at Leeds crown court after being convicted of nine counts of rape and two of indecent assault.

The trial was the sixth to come from Operation Tendersea, an investigation by West Yorkshire police into child sexual exploitation in the town which has now seen 34 men convicted.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said the abuse of the victims, who had been targeted because of their vulnerability, was “vile and wicked”. He added that the abusers had manufactured a relationship of trust that allowed them to “perpetrate gross sexual abuse for their own perverted gratification”.

“They were planned offences,” he continued. “It is likely many of these girls will never recover from the abuse they suffered.”

Judge Marson said the two girls were controlled by the threat of violence towards both themselves and their families.

During the trial, the jury heard that one of the victims, who had been raped by every defendant in the case, had on several occasions gone missing and returned home half-naked while “heavily under the influence of alcohol and drugs”.

The second victim was said to have been routinely plied with drugs and alcohol “in order to facilitate the gross sexual abuse by the older men”, and had tried to report the abuse to police.

Reading the women’s victim impact statements, Andrea Parnham, prosecuting, said: “She kept it buried for 22 years. She tried to report an incident in 1997 but she was disbelieved and felt let down by them.”

Parnham added that the woman suffers from nightmares, flashbacks, PTSD and anxiety and that coming forward after so many years had been “hell”. The other victim also suffers from PTSD, depression and bulimia.

The defendants are:

  • Usman Ali, 34, of Park Drive, Huddersfield, who was jailed for eight years for two counts of rape.

  • Banaras Hussain, 39, of Scarborough Road, Shipley, who was jailed for 9.5 years for one count of rape.

  • Abdul Majid, 36, of Lightcliffe Road, Huddersfield, who was jailed for 11 years for two counts of rape.

  • Gul Riaz, 44, of Balmoral Avenue, Huddersfield, who was jailed for 15 years for two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault.

  • Two men – aged 36 and 30 – who cannot be named for legal reasons, were jailed for eight and four years respectively for one count of rape.

A seventh defendant, a 37-year-old man who cannot be named, has been found guilty of one count of rape and will be sentenced on Thursday.