"They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them."
A child sex gang of men which operated in Oxford has been convicted of sexually abusing young vulnerable girls aged between 13 to 15 on a ‘massive’ scale across the city.
A five-month trial at Oxford Crown Court which started 9 October 2017, concluded with the jury of seven men and four women finding the men guilty after deliberating for a record-breaking 107 hours and 31 minutes, over the course of 24 days. The longest in Oxford Crown Court history.
Seven men from the predatory gang were convicted of indecent assault, rape, and false imprisonment, after this lengthy trial. Namely, Raheem Ahmed (aged 40 from Oxford), Khalid Hussain (aged 37 from Oxford), Kamran Khan (from Bolton), Moinul Islam (aged 42 from Oxford), Kameer Iqbal (aged 38 from Oxford), Assad Hussain (aged 37 from Oxford) and Alladitta Yousaf (aged 47 from Oxford).
Two other men, Saboor Abdul (aged 37 from Oxford) and Haji Khan (aged 37 from Birmingham) were acquitted of all charges during the trial. Another two men also involved in the trial are not allowed to be named for legal reasons.
During the evidence in the trial, the jurors heard five victims recall their horrid experiences of sexual abuse and interviews recorded by the police. They also heard testimonials from some of the men who denied their involvement in the sexual exploitation of the girls.
The seven men had preyed on these girls pressurised them into having sex by taking them to addresses including guest houses across the city of Oxford, in cars, and even forced them in local parks.
All of the victims in this horrific case of torrid sexual abuse were aged between 13 to 15 at the time when the offences took place between 1998 and 2005.
None of the victims abused by the child sex gang can be named for legal reasons.
When the trial started in October 2017, Oliver Saxby QC, from the prosecution stated in court:
“Each of the young girls we are dealing with shared one very important characteristic, they were vulnerable.
“Perfect prey for, in the main, young men prepared to exploit them for casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available.”
Some of the victims recalled during the trial that a black Nissan Serena people carrier with a licence plate ending ‘SHG’ was a vehicle driven by the men and was nick-named the’shag wagon’.
It was revealed that many of the sexual assaults including gang rapes took place in this vehicle.
Talking about this hideous use of the vehicle, one victim said:
“They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them.
“Everything happened in that Serena.”
The same victim also told the court of how the men would ‘take it in turns’ to have sex with her and that after she was intoxicated with booze and drugs, they would gang rape her.
One of the victims in court recalled how she was coerced into sex by the gang members between February 1998 and February 2001 at different locations in Oxford which included Shotover woods, at lay-bys and close to Oxford City Football Club’s ground.
Naming Assad Hussain, Kameer Iqbal, Khalid Hussain and Alladitta Yousaf as the men who had numerously sexually assaulted her or raped her.
A second victim told the jury how she was sexually molested and assaulted by Moinul Islam at Cronin’s Bed & Breakfast in Oxford on Iffley Road when she was only 14 years old.
‘Sex parties’ were held at many addresses across Oxford and outside the city involving large groups of men where the girls were taken after inebriating them with alcohol and drugs, which the prosecutors described as the ‘grooming process’.
One girl told the court how she was forced to have sex with Khalid Hussain at such a party at a flat in London.
During the investigation by the police, a victim told them in 2015 that she was ‘mind-f****d’ by the gang in order to repeatedly rape and sexually assault her, saying:
“[They] made you believe they actually care about you, and they actually don’t. Like you are something important to them, that you are a friend to them. And, really, it wasn’t that.”
“It was just to get what they want. It took me some years to realise that.”
The judge at one of the biggest trials in Oxford, Peter Ross, said:
“Systematic and widespread grooming, that is what this case has revealed.
“The investigation has involved countless hours of work and [the police] are entitled to commendations for the work they have done.”
Mr Ross was also very grateful to the jury for their ‘assiduous’ and ‘phenomenal’ dedication to the case in returning their verdicts for a trial which lasted a very long time.
This conviction highlights yet another case of sexual exploitation by child sex gang who are from an Asian background, more specifically, British Pakistani men. The question again arises, is there a deep issue within the community that needs to be addressed?
In December 2017, this matter has been highlighted in a report published by British Pakistani researchers that 84% of grooming gangs are British Pakistani men. Co-author Haris Rafiq said:
“We didn’t want there to be a pattern of people from our ethnic demographic carrying out these attacks. But unfortunately, we were proven wrong.”
It is evident that the community needs to do more to understand why this kind of systematic abuse is taking place and how this problem of grooming needs to be tackled.
Because otherwise cases of this kind of horrific and vile sexual abuse of vulnerable young girls are deemed to continue unless action is taken to find the root cause.