SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE
Eight men, have been found guilty in connection with sexually abusing three girls in Rotherham.
The eight men were found guilty of offences that took place between 1999 and 2003.
Sageer Hussain, Mohammed Whied, Ishtiaq Khaliq, Waleed Ali, Asif Ali, Masoued Malik, Basharat Hussain and Naeem Rafiq will be sentenced on November 4.
The month-long trial at Sheffield Crown Court heard how the men "sexualised" their victims and, in some instances, subjected them to acts of a "degrading and violent nature".
One girl and her family told police, their MP and the then home secretary David Blunkett about the abuse and eventually moved to Spain to get away from the men.
The jury retired to consider verdicts on October 11 and today convicted all eight gang members on all counts after deliberating for almost 18 hours.
Ringleader Sageer Hussain, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, was convicted of four rapes and one indecent assault.
Mohammed Whied, 32, of Psalters Lane, Rotherham, was found guilty of one count of aiding and abetting rape.
Ishtiaq Khaliq, 33, of Cherry Brook, Rotherham, was found guilty of one rape and three indecent assaults.
Ringleader Sageer Hussain and Waleed Ali were both found guilty after 18 hours of deliberations
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the men sexualised their victims and, in some instances, subjected them to acts of a degrading and violent nature
Waleed Ali, 34, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of one rape and one indecent assault.
Asif Ali, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, was convicted on one rape.
Masoued Malik, 32, of Bridgewater Way, Rotherham, was found guilty of one rape, one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment.
Basharat Hussain, 40, from Goole, was convicted of one indecent assault.
And Naeem Rafiq, 33, of Clarendon Road, Rotherham, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment.
They were remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.
Asif Ali and Basharat Hussain
The court heard that the victim who eventually fled to Spain had gone to the police in 2003, saying she had been repeatedly raped by Sageer Hussain when she was 13.
Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, told the jury the girl, now in her late 20s, and her family withdrew the allegations due to threats.
But the court was also told that police lost the girl's clothes without carrying out any forensic analysis.
The family tried to get help from social services as well and took the girl out of school before eventually moving abroad.
An official inquiry into exploitation in Rotherham in 2014 by Professor Alexis Jay concluded that 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked and attacked between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of largely Asian men, and that the victims were effectively ignored.
Ishtiaq Khaliq and Masoued Malik
Ms Colborne said the court case was about three victims "who were sexualised and, in some instances, subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature at the hands of these men".
She said Hussain played a "key role" and was "instrumental in befriending young girls who were flattered that he and his friends spent time with them".
They were then exploited by Hussain, his friends, older brothers and associates.
Speaking after the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate said: “This trial marks the culmination of three years of investigative work by South Yorkshire Police, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the Crown Prosecution Service into the calculated and organised sexual exploitation of young girls in Rotherham.
Mohammed Whied and Naeem Rafiq
“The verdicts today are of massive importance to the young women who have come forward to report years of horrific sexual abuse at the hands of these criminals.
“They had to endure what no child should and have shown remarkable bravery throughout our inquiry. From coming forward to officers, to providing video and written interviews, through to reliving their traumatic and awful abuse before the jury, they have carried themselves with composure and dignity.
“I am so grateful to these women, many of whom remain incredibly vulnerable, for offering their support to our investigative team and I am so pleased that their voices have been heard and their abusers have been held to account for their vile crimes.
“It is difficult to put into words the damage and impact of sexual exploitation on children, but I hope that by hearing these brave women’s accounts, other victims of this awful crime find the strength to come forward and tell someone what has happened or is happening to them.
Sheffield Crown Court where the eight Rotherham child sex abusers were found guilty
“There are a range of agencies available that can offer support to victims of sexual exploitation and our team has had fantastic backing from Victim Support, Barnardos, GROW and the wider voluntary sector. Their staff are extremely passionate about helping victims and survivors and I thank them for their work throughout this investigation.
“I also want to recognise the prosecution barristers who have worked tirelessly alongside us to prepare for trial and have done an incredible job of prosecuting this case at court.
“There remains much to do to tackle this organised and often devious crime, and our officers will continue their work to safeguard victims, identify and apprehend offenders to build further prosecution cases.
“Please, if you are suffering sexual abuse, or know someone who is or has been a victim of this crime, come forward and talk to someone. We have officers who will listen to you, support you and do whatever we can to help you.”