Three men have been jailed for their part in an inner-city sex ring involving the abuse, rape and trafficking of young girls.
Victims as young as 14 were subjected to sexual abuse that was “degrading, violent and horrible” in Bristol. Some of the girls were given drugs and alcohol and “pestered again and again” for sex by the men, who were mostly older teenagers.
Bristol crown court heard that the rapes became “routine” and the men regarded some of the victims, who cannot be named, as “cheap and easy”.
Three men – Sakariya Sheikh, 23, Mohammed Dahir, 24, and Abdirashid Abdulahi, 23 – were convicted of 14 charges relating to four girls.
Judge Peter Blair QC jailed Sheikh for 16 years, and Dahir and Abdulahi both for eight years, after a seven-week trial. “You have brought shame upon your families and upon yourselves,” the judge told them. “You are not worthy of very much further attention in this courtroom. My attention is focused upon the victims of your crimes.
“They were four children trying to find their way in life, some of them struggling with difficult issues at home. You used your older age, your personal freedom and your relative stronger power to manipulate and coerce them into becoming for you little more than objects to satisfy you sexually.”
The judge said the abuse had left the victims feeling “worthless”.
“Their pain goes on and so it will for you now,” he told the defendants. “They are at long last receiving some measure of justice from your convictions. Their very brave and difficult decision to give evidence against you has been vindicated and I pay tribute to them.”
Seven men went on trial accused of 46 charges. Three were acquitted after the jury failed to reach verdicts and another man was found not guilty of the two charges against him.
The trial, which came after an investigation codenamed Operation Button, was the third in a series of prosecutions of Somali men for child sexual exploitation and drug offences.
In two earlier trials in 2014, after an investigation codenamed Operation Brooke, 14 men were jailed for more than 100 years between them. Sheikh, Abdulahi and Dahir – were also found guilty in Operation Brooke.
During the latest trial, jurors heard that a 15-year-old girl was simultaneously raped by Sheikh and another man in March 2013. The majority of the offences happened between 2011 and 2012 against girls who had travelled to Bristol by train to meet the men.
Anna Vigars, prosecuting, said the victims “suffered sexual abuse, some of it violent, degrading and horrible, some of it less so”.
Speaking after the case, DS Lisa Jones, of Avon and Somerset police, said the offences had inflicted “long-term pain and torment” on the victims.
“These defendants befriended these vulnerable young people who were still at school, grooming and sexually exploiting them,” she said. “Their systematic abuse over a number of years slowly eroded their confidence and made them think these crimes were normal behaviour.”
In a statement issued through police, the Bristol Somali community said it was “deeply appalled” by the case. “Our deepest sympathy wholeheartedly goes out to the victims and their families who are undoubtedly experiencing extreme pain at the moment,” it said. “Our community, a Muslim and black minority ethnic community, in Bristol would like to underline that we sincerely condemn the nature of these crimes.”
Good response; now if you see such goings on again, please report it to police.
the Bryn Estyn children's home in Wrexham
The National Crime Agency is to investigate whether council officials were involved in a criminal cover-up of evidence relating to child sexual abuse in North Wales.
Former police superintendent Gordon Anglesea, 79, is due to be sentenced after being convicted earlier this month of four historical indecent assaults on teenage boys.
His trial followed a series of investigations over 25 years into allegations a paedophile ring abused teenagers living in North Wales care homes.
ITV Wales journalist David Williams received confirmation of the new investigation while researching a documentary screened last week on Anglesea’s crimes.
In March this year Lady Justice Macur’s review into the 2000 Waterhouse Inquiry into child abuse in North Wales was published. It found no reason to undermine the Waterhouse conclusions that there had been no establishment involvement in the abuse.
But North Wales Chief Constable Mark Polin told Mr Williams: “There’s reference in the Macur Review report that identifies a concern on her behalf as to whether there was malfeasance in public office by those who represented other bodies that existed at the time.
“I’ve decided in direct response to that recommendation that I would like Pallial [the North Wales Police operation into historical child sexual abuse] to carry that out. I’ve agreed that with the director of the National Crime Agency, and that’s why the investigation will progress in that way.”
trial at Mold Crown Court in North Wales
Roy McComb, deputy director of the National Crime Agency – effectively the UK’s equivalent of the FBI – said: “While the precise terms of reference have not been finalised yet with North Wales Police, we are defaulting back to paragraphs five and six [of the Macur report] which relate to the activities of officials in the local government area, whether they supported the Waterhouse Inquiry or whether they actively tried to prevent the Waterhouse Inquiry doing its jobs.”
The Macur Review’s fifth recommendation advised consideration of a possible police investigation “to consider whether there is sufficient evidence and public interest relating to matters of malfeasance in public office and/or perverting the course of justice”.
The report describes the loss of documents from the Waterhouse Inquiry – but Lady Macur did not suggest this was an attempt to destroy evidence.
She stated: “The failure to adequately archive the materials associated with the Tribunal has undermined the integrity of the materials. The manner in which the Wales Office boxes of materials were filled suggests that the most likely explanations for missing or misplaced documentation are the result of: human error in the face of overwhelming volumes of materials; the contamination of a perfectly good indexing system with a view to reducing storage charges; re-organisation and re-location; and, possibly, deployment of ‘destruction policies’ with little thought of a Review such as this.
“The wholesale disorganisation of materials would militate against any thought of informed malign intervention or removal of documents.”
She added: “I incline to regard the destruction of the Tribunal computer database as an unfortunate and innocent mistake, rather than a calculated ploy.”
The Waterhouse Inquiry concluded there was widespread sexual abuse of boys in children’s residential establishments in Clwyd between 1974 and 1990. There were also some incidents of sexual abuse of girl residents.
The public version of the report named dozens of people for abusing children or failing to protect them. It identified 28 alleged perpetrators, but many names were redacted due to pending prosecutions or lack of evidence.
The report stated: “The evidence before us has disclosed that for many children who were consigned to Bryn Estyn, in the 10 or so years of its existence as a community home, it was a form of purgatory or worse from which they emerged more damaged than when they had entered and for whom the future had become even more bleak.”
A number of the teenage victims went on to commit suicide.
From BBC Lancashire
David Billington faces seven counts of sexual touching a girl under 13, which are alleged to have taken place between September 2012 and February 2016.
The 46-year-old, of Shadsworth Road, Blackburn, did not enter a plea at Blackburn Magistrates' Court.
He was bailed and is scheduled to appear at Preston Crown Court on 28 November.
Mr Billington was charged on 6 October.
A Birkenhead man who abused a young boy almost 50 years ago has been jailed for four years.
65-year-old Kenneth Whitfield, who is disabled and walks with a wheeled frame, attacked the boy on three occasions.
Although the victim told his mum about it when he reached the age of 24 he decided not to pursue the matter, but when he was recently arrested for other matters he revealed to police what had happened to him.
Sentencing Whitfield, of Peel Avenue, Judge David Aubrey said, “For decade after decade you have held onto this dark secret. I pass sentence for what you did almost five decades ago.”
Wow! No statute of limitations!
He said the offences were so serious there had to be an immediate prison sentence despite his health and mobility problems and the fact that had suffered parental rejection, sex abuse and was abused while in care.
Whitfield, a widower, has to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life, and the judge imposed an extra 12 months to his licence when he is released.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the boy had wrongly felt the abuse against him was his fault and the last time it took place he thought "It can’t be happening to me again."
“It was,” said Paul Treble prosecuting.
Birkenhead, across River Mersey from Liverpool
In an impact statement the victim told how it has affected his whole life and while he had tried to forget about it, when it came to light recently it has returned to the forefront of his mind.
“I feel my childhood happiness was taken away from me,” he stated.
Whitfield, who has no previous sexual convictions, pleaded guilty to three offences.
Paul Thompson, defending, said Whitfield who has learning difficulties and mental health issues had been aged between 17 and 21 when he committed the offences.
He was vulnerable because of those problems and had been abused while in care as a boy.
The court heard Whitfield has mobility problems following a traffic accident. He also has diabetes and ulcers.