Four men who forced girls into lives as sex slaves in Rochdale have been sentenced to almost 40 years in prison. The gang coerced two victims aged 15 and 16 to become prostitutes between 2004 and 2008 but were caught after the town's child sex scandal emerged in 2011.
Irshad Wani, 39, of Whitworth Road, Rochdale was found guilty of seven counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of child grooming and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Gul Zaman, 44, who is already serving a prison sentence at HMP Manchester, was found guilty of rape and inciting a child into prostitution and sentenced to ten years in prison.
Mohammed Ishaque, 56, of Denton Street, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in prostitution and Shohaib Shabbir, 29, of Copster Hill Road, Oldham, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual activity with a child and were sentenced to 11 and seven years respectively.
The group were detained following the launch of Operation Doublet in the wake of widespread child sexual exploitation in Rochdale. It identified a number of cases, which broadly took place between 2004 and 2008, across Greater Manchester where teenage girls had been sexually exploited by older men.
Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Daniels, the Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Doublet, said: "The victims have shown enormous courage and without their support in what has been a difficult investigation, we would not be here today."