London: Ringleaders of a pimping gang, mostly comprising people of Pakistani-origin, that inflicted sexual terror on vulnerable young girls in Derby in the UK have been given indefinite jail sentences.
According to a report in The Times, 27-year-old Abid Siddique, a contract cleaner, and 28-year-old Mohammed Liaqat, who has a conviction for a racially motivated assault, presented themselves in the Pakistani community as family men and devout Muslims.
But they were sexual predators prepared to employ threats and violence in order to rape and abuse.
The two men, who led a 13-strong gang, cruised the city streets in a silver BMW with blacked-out windows, a bottle of vodka under the driver's seat and cocaine in the glove box.
They prowled for girls as young as 12, the more rootless the better. According to the report they befriended their victims, offering them alcohol and drugs, before subjecting them to systematic abuse in Bread and Breakfast hotel rooms or behind bushes in local parks.
They even filmed the assaults on mobile phones for the gratification of their friends. Judge Philip Head at the Nottingham Crown Court told Siddique, whom he described as an evil predator with a voracious sexual appetite, that he would be sent to jail for at least 11 years but would be released only when he was no longer considered a danger to the public.
He told Liaqat that he must serve at least eight years. In all 13 men, all from Derby, were eventually charged in relation to the case and nine were convicted of offences including rape, sex with a child, sexual assault, false imprisonment, perverting the course of justice and making child pornography.
Siddique was convicted of four rapes, aiding and abetting rape, two sexual assaults, three counts of sexual activity with a child, making child pornography, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
Liaqat was found guilty of rape, aiding and abetting rape, four counts of sexual activity with a child, two sexual assaults, making child pornography and affray.
Already convicted and sentenced are Mohammed Imran Rehman, 26, jailed for seven and a half years for rape, and Faisal Mehmood, 24, who admitted sexual activity with a child, was jailed for three years and has now been deported to Pakistan.
Akshay Kumar, 38, a hospital porter believed to have changed his name to that of a Bollywood film star, was given a prison sentence of two years and ten months after pleading guilty to making child pornography. Naweed Liaqat, 33, brother of Mohammed Liaqat, and Farooq Ahmed, 29 admitted perverting the course of justice and were each jailed for 18 months.
Graham Blackham, 26, received a three-year sentence for two counts of breachign a sexual offences prevention order. Ziafat Yasin, 31, was jailed for three years after he admitted supplying cocaine to the gang.
Siddique and Liaqat stopped their BMW to chat and flirt whenever they spotted a vulnerable girl. They picked up victims at street corners, housing estates, railway stations and shopping malls or as the girls walked from school.
They put on the charm and plied the girls with cigarettes, alcohol or drugs to secure their mobile phone numbers. Later they were invited to "parties", where they were passed around.
Operation Retriever, a huge police investigation, identified 27 victims but officers believe that many more have not come forward. They were aged between 12 and 18, predominantly from troubled backgrounds.
Two were in a local authority care but one was a 14-year-old Senior Secondary student from a solid middle-class family. Judge Head told the two bearded men in the dock: "Your method was the targeting, approaching, befriending and gain the confidence of vulnerable young females with a view to sex at any price. Their age and lack of consent was no obstacle to either of you. You used one target as a means of meeting other young girls to target. Your grooming involved plying your victims with drink or drugs to promote compliance or dependence upon you, usually getting them to secure locations, whether a safe house or secluded spot, sometimes preventing your victims from getting away and sometimes using actual violence or threats to overbear them and also abusing and humiliating them by emphasising your contempt for them. Your general attitude was your victims were worthless, they were purely for your sexual gratification. They were young human beings who you treated with a total lack of humanity and respect. Your have caused what is likely to be a prolonged and desperate blight on your young victims' lives."