Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - Page 7 News List

British Asian pedophile gang handed life sentences

AFP, LONDON

Five members of a British Asian pedophile gang were jailed for life on Thursday for grooming vulnerable underage girls for sex.

The gang’s five-month trial heard that they exploited at least six troubled girls as young as 11 in the English city of Oxford, plying them with drugs before forcing them to perform sex acts.

Brothers Akhtar and Anjum Dogar were handed life terms by a judge at London’s Old Bailey court along with Kamar Jamil and brothers Mohammed and Bassam Karrar.

Two more defendants, Assad Hussain and Zeeshan Ahmed, were jailed for seven years each.

Four of the victims, who were abused between 2004 and last year, had lived in state-run children’s homes.

The trial heard that the girls, aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, were repeatedly and violently raped, beaten and in one case forced to have an abortion at the age of 12.

They were sometimes driven across the country to have sex with other men. Several were gang-raped.

The men — who are all of Pakistani origin except the North African Karrar brothers — were found guilty last month of a catalog of crimes including rape, trafficking and organizing prostitution.

Judge Peter Rook told the Dogar brothers they had committed “extremely grave crimes” as he jailed them for a minimum of 17 years each.

“You targeted the young girls because they were vulnerable, underage and out of control,” he said.

“You would build up their trust and provide them with drink, drugs and the attention which they craved. From a misguided loyalty to you, they were reluctant to tell the authorities what was happening to them,” he said.

The court heard of the lasting psychological scars inflicted on the girls, one of whom had considered suicide.

One girl told a friend that she submitted to the abuse because she just wanted to be loved.

The family of one victim said in a statement on Thursday that the men “took her from us and we will never get those lost years back.”

Police and social services were forced to apologize after missing several chances to catch the gang.

The trial followed the jailing last year of nine Asian men who had similarly abused vulnerable girls in Rochdale, northwest England.

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