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Thursday, November 25, 2010
'Sexual Predators' Face Lengthy Jail Terms
A gang of 'sexual predators' in Britain raped girls as young as 12 after picking them up from the streets.
Up to 100 'vulnerable' girls may have been groomed, abused or supplied cocaine by married fathers Abid Saddique, 27, and Mohammed Liaqat, 28, and their friends.
A court heard the pair used Liaqat’s BMW to trawl for victims, pulling up alongside girls outside shops or schools and chatting them up before a 'campaign of calls and texts' to groom them.
Saddique and Liaqat, plied the victims - most from broken homes - with vodka and cocaine before taking them to 'parties' in hotels or flats with other gang members to rape or degrade them.
Abid Saddique (left) and Mohammed Liaqat may have sexually abused up to 100 girls
When girls refused their advances they were threatened with hammers or thrown out of cars.
On Wednesday, Saddique and Liaqat, each British-born and of Pakistani origin with arranged marriages, were found guilty of a catalogue of sexual abuses over an 18-month period. They face years behind bars.
Siddique was convicted of a string of charges including four rapes, false imprisonment, sex with a child and causing a child to be involved in sexual activity while Liaqat was convicted of rape, two sex assaults, sexual activity with a child and aiding and abetting rape and affray.
Both men will be sentenced on January 7.
Six others - Mohamed Rehman, 26, Akshay Kumar, 38, Graham Blackham, 26, Liaqat's brother Naweed, 33, Farooq Ahmed, 28, and Faisal Mehmood, 24. have already been convicted and sentenced to a total of more than 19 years for related offences.
Reporting restrictions were lifted at the end of a third and final trial into the Derby gang’s activities.
One of 26 alleged victims concerned in the gang’s trials was a 14-year-old straight-A student from a middle-class home.
The inquiry began in late 2008 when Saddique and Liaqat, both fathers-of-one, were arrested for shoplifting and two young girls were discovered with alcohol in their car.
Police swooped in April 2009 when two teenagers came out of a flat officers were watching and reported they had been raped. The surveillance teams had not known the girls were there.
Caught on camera: CCTV footage shows a car containing members of the gang talking to two girls on the streets of Derby
After verdicts at Leicester Crown Court, a senior officer warned that child exploitation and abuse was a 'hidden' problem nationwide.
"I would appeal to parents to monitor their children’s phones… and think about if they come home smelling of alcohol or clutching gifts."
"These are all signs that children could be being groomed," Detective Inspector Sean Dawson, of Derbyshire Police, said.
He said that although all of the victims were white except for three mixed-race girls and two Asians, the men were 'out for whatever sex they could get' and did not care what race their victims were.
The oldest victim was 18 but most were aged between 14 and 16.
One girl described a sexual assault involving at least eight men, although charges in relation to that incident were not proceeded with.
Many attacks were filmed on mobile phones as 'trophies'.