Five Asian men have been jailed for more than half a century for a slew of sex offences against girls in Rochdale. The gang preyed on vulnerable girls and raped them after plying them with alcohol between 2004-2008. They were sentenced to a combined 55 years in prison at a sentencing at Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday (17 February).
Joshim Miah, 32, Ashfaq Yousaf, 31, Ittefaq Yousaf, 26, Mohammed Sadeer, 28, and Mohammed Miah, 41, sexually exploited three teenage girls aged between 14 and 16. One of the victims – described as "extremely vulnerable" – was assaulted by four of the men and passed around 30 men in total.
Their victim was was living in a children's home for some of the time the abuse took place and was plied with alcohol until she was so drunk she was incapable of giving consent.
The court heard how she felt intimated by them and was coerced and threatened into having sex.
During violent attacks, Mohammed Miah raped the girl on a North Wales beach as he drove her to Rochdale. Yousaf also raped her twice, and Joshim Miah also raped her in a secluded area in the Greater Manchester town. One of the attacks was filmed on a mobile phone and ended when the victim was headbutted in the face.
In total, the men were convicted of a total of nine offences of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault following a trial at Minshull Street Crown Court last year.
Alison Cartmell, from the CPS, said: "The victims in this case were children when they were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation and violence. They have shown real courage in coming forward and giving evidence. The guilty verdicts would not have been possible without their bravery and determination and we want to thank them for that.
"The defendants exploited [the girls'] youth, immaturity and vulnerability for their own sexual gratification. When the girls resisted or objected to what was happening they were subjected to coercion, threats and violence. The men denied all the charges and tried to claim the victims were lying, that either the sexual activity had not taken place or was consensual."
Rochdale was revealed to have been riven by sexual exploitation after a report published in 2012 suggested at least 1,400 children had been sexually exploited there. The council was branded "not fit for purpose" in the wake of the scandal, which broadly took place between 2004-2008.