“We have not committed that big a crime."
Two child groomers are fighting against a decision to deport them from the UK.
Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf were part of the notorious Rochdale grooming gang.
They have been told they are to be deported to Pakistan for the “public good” after both were part of a gang convicted of several serious sex offences against young girls.
Both men are appealing against the deportation order, with Khan citing his human rights as a reason not to be kicked out of the UK.
He claimed to have renounced his Pakistani citizenship which would make him “stateless”.
Khan got a 13-year-old girl pregnant but denied he was the father. He then met another girl and trafficked her to others using violence when she complained.
In 2012, he was sentenced to eight years and released on licence four years later.
At an Immigration Tribunal hearing on June 8, 2021, in London, Khan complained about the case’s press coverage.
The child groomer said: “The journalists have made our lives a living hell.
“We are not that big a criminal.
“We have not committed that big a crime.
“I’m innocent. I’m not committing any crime.
“The journalists made us out to be big criminals.”
Khan, Rauf and two others were among nine men convicted of sex offences against vulnerable girls in 2012.
Girls as young as 12 were plied with alcohol and drugs and gang-raped in rooms above takeaways and trafficked to different flats in taxis.
According to police, as many as 47 girls were groomed.
Khan and Rauf were among four child groomers with dual UK-Pakistani citizenship.
They were liable to be stripped of UK citizenship and deported, after then-home secretary Theresa May ruled it would be “conducive to the public good” to deprive the four of the right to remain in the UK.
The two men and Abdul Aziz then fought and lost a legal battle against the deportation order.
However, the failure to deport the four men has resulted in anger in Rochdale, where victims were living alongside their tormentors.
Khan and Rauf are now appealing against the decision by current Home Secretary Priti Patel to deport them.
Cathryn McGahey QC, representing the Home Office, told the tribunal:
“The facts supporting deprivation are overwhelming.”
The tribunal heard Khan’s reasons for appealing against deportation are on the grounds of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, his right to a private and family life.
His other ground of appeal was cited as “statelessness” after he renounced his Pakistani nationality in September 2018 so he could not be deported there.
But this only came a month after he was told that he would be deported from the UK.
Child groomer Rauf trafficked a 15-year-old girl for sex, driving her to secluded areas to have sex with her in his taxi and ferry her to a flat in Rochdale where he and others had sex with her.
He was jailed for six years and released in November 2014 after serving two years and six months of his sentence.
A further deportation hearing involving both Khan and Rauf is scheduled for July 1, 2021.