"Some parts of me can never be fixed."
A Rotherham based Asian sex grooming gang was sentenced and jailed for their crimes against five underage girls on November 16, 2018.
A group of six British Asian men primarily of Pakistani descent were sentenced at Sheffield’s Crown Court.
They were collectively sentenced to 101 years in prison for their deplorable offences against the five underage victims.
The men jailed were Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, Nabeel Kurshid Iqlak Yousaf, Tanweer Ali, Salah Ahmed El-Hakam, Asif Ali and one additional man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
At the trial, one of the victims stated how, by the age of 16, she had been sexually abused by, ‘at least 100 Asian men’.
One of the victims stated how this abuse affected her, in a victim impact statement:
“I feel like I’m constantly fighting to get justice for what they did to me. I hope the court realises these men have destroyed me.
“Some parts of me can never be fixed.”
The six men were convicted as part of Operation Stovewood.
This operation was conducted by the National Crime Agency, they investigated non-familial child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
The Court heard that the group of men were led by, Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, of Rotherham.
The group targeted young and vulnerable girls, plying their victims with drugs and alcohol.
Judge Sarah Wright during the sentencing told the men:
“Each in your own way perpetrated, facilitated or encouraged the sexual abuse of these young girls.
“Each of the complainants in this case were groomed, coerced and intimidated. Each of them was groomed. Each of you, groomed.
“You can have been in no doubt that the complainants were vulnerable in the extreme.”
The victims recalled how they were taken to remote and desolate locations and were threatened to perform sexual acts or risk being abandoned in these unfamiliar settings.
These locations included a tip in Rawmarsh, a supermarket car park, Clifton Park and Ulley Country Park all of which were spread across Rotherham.
One of the victims, who was 14 at the time of the abuse, recalled how she had been given Cannabis.
She was then driven to Sherwood Forest by Nabeel Kurshid, Iqlak Yousaf and a third man.
Where the three men then took turns raping her and threatened to leave her in the forest if she did not comply.
Judge Wright added:
“You were clearly not immature evidenced by the fact you all indulged in cynical manipulation and exploitation of your victims, which showed a maturity well beyond your chronological age.
“They continue to suffer considerable trauma and will continue to suffer throughout their lives as a result of your actions.”
Another victim spoke of an occasion where while being raped by Tanweer Ali, he told her:
“It’s better you just get it over and done with and then you can go back home.”
It has been reported that while Judge Wright announced her sentencing, the group of six men showed no remorse. The men received the following sentences for their crimes:
- Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar (37-years-old), of Godstone Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting rape, three counts of indecent assault, one count of procuring a girl under 21 to have unlawful sexual intercourse with another, and one count of sexual assault, sentenced to 23 years.
- Nabeel Kurshid (35-years-old), of Weetwood Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault, sentenced to 19 years.
- Iqlak Yousaf (34-years-old), Tooker Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, sentenced to 20 years.
- Tanweer Ali (37-years-old), of Godstone Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of two counts of rape, two counts of indecent assault and one count of false imprisonment, sentenced to 14 years.
- Salah Ahmed El-Hakam (39-years-old), Tudor Close, Sheffield, was found guilty of one count of rape, sentenced to 15 years.
- Asif Ali (33-years-old), of Clough Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault, sentenced to 10 years.
The seventh member of this gang, who cannot be named for legal reasons will be sentenced at a later date, separately to these six men after being convicted on two counts of rape.
This case is one of many which has a strong connection to Asian sex grooming gangs targeting vulnerable young British girls. Research done by British Pakistani researchers says 84% of grooming gangs are Asian.
This points to issues that do need to be addressed with specific communities as to why there is such a high occurrence of such vile sexual abuse committed against vulnerable young girls.