|A rape victim's mum has told of her horror after being intimidated by the rapists' family|
Jane Smith (not her real name) claims she had to be smuggled into the back entrance of Manchester Crown Court "as if she was a criminal" to see the three men sentenced for raping her daughter, who was just 16 at the time.
A herd of more than 50 family members and friends gathered at the court as Bilal Ahmed, Mowled Omar Yussaf and Muhyadeen Osman were jailed for nine, ten and ten years respectively.
So what does this behaviour by the rapists' families tell us? Do they think that gang-raping a child is not something that deserves punishment? Is gang-rape acceptable behaviour in Somali society? Even among Somali immigrants? Or is it just white girls whom Muslim men/boys are justified in gang-raping?
This behaviour by the families is very disturbing, not just because of the intimidation, but because it shows a complete lack of respect for UK laws and people, and it shows no desire to assimilate into western (read civilized) culture.
All three men, of no fixed address and Somali heritage, were 18 at the time of the rape and lured the victim, now 19, to Victoria Park Hotel in Manchester on August 9 2013 under the pretence of a game of "hide and seek".
Jane claims throughout the two-month trial, relatives of the three men who raped her daughter gathered in huge groups and deliberately intimidated her and her family.
Many refused to move when they tried to get past in corridors, whispered abuse under their breath and stared at the victim's family in an attempt to intimidate them.
|Bilal Ahmed, Mowled Omar Yussaf and Muhyadeen Osman were jailed for nine, ten and ten years respectively |
Manchester Evening News
Jane, 49, from Cheshire, said: "I was frightened throughout and my husband was frightened. There were so many of them and many of them would goad me when I walked past and deliberately try to intimidate us.
"It was scary. If this is what it does to us, then what would this be like for the victim of a rape case?
|'Jane': 'If this is what it does to us, then what would this be like for the victim of a rape case' Mercury Press|
"No wonder that so many people are too scared to prosecute over rape if this is what they have to go through. We were scared throughout this but we just knew we had to keep going to get justice."
Sentencing the trio at Manchester Crown Court today, His Honour Judge David Fernandez said the victim had suffered "great emotional and physical distress" as a result of the ordeal.
|The victim's mum was intimidated by rapists' families Mercury Press|
He took the victim to the hotel to "meet his boys" – where the pretence of a game of 'hide and seek' was suggested to the victim.
At the hotel the victim was introduced to Yussuf and Ahmed before becoming involved in what she believed was a game of hide and seek, with the group entering unlocked rooms.
CCTV footage showed the victim enter room 38 for around 30 minutes, where she was subjected to rapes in the bathroom and bedroom.
|Around 50 family and friends gathered outside the court Mercury Press|
When that finished, Osman, who had been "keeping watch" outside, entered the room and orally raped the victim in the bathroom before raping her on the bed.
Cash and a mobile phone were stolen from her handbag during the incident.
DNA evidence linking all three culprits, who maintain their innocence, was found on towels and bedsheets recovered from the scene.
Detective Constable Heather Clarkson from Greater Manchester Police, said: "The victim has shown extreme bravery throughout the whole of this case and I would personally like to thank her.
"She has been supported by specially trained officers and she has shown the determination to ensure Osman, Yussuf and Ahmed were brought to justice."
A spokesperson for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service said: "We take the needs of victims, witnesses and their families extremely seriously.
|Greater Manchester Police patrolling outside the court Mercury Press|
"Any complaint of intimidation will be treated very seriously and investigated urgently."
So does that mean we can expect charges to be laid against the families of the three rapists?