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Eight men convicted of child sex offences in northern England
October 17, 2016 / 3:32 PM / a year ago

Eight men convicted of child sex offences in northern England

LONDON (Reuters) - Eight men were found guilty on Monday of waging what prosecutors called an “utterly abhorrent” campaign of sexual violence and intimidation against young girls in the Rotherham area of northern England 13 years ago.

(Clockwise from top left) Arshid Hussain, Bannaras Hussain, Basharat Hussain, Shelley Davies, Karen MacGregor and Qurban Ali, who are guilty of sex offences, are seen in a combination photograph in these handout photos released by South Yorkshire Police in Britain on February 24, 2016. Brothers Basharat and Arshid Hussain, their uncle Qurban Ali and Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davis were convicted on Wednesday of multiple sex crimes against young girls in Rotherham, the northern English town which hit the headlines two years ago when it was revealed that as many as 1,400 children had been abused by gangs. REUTERS/South Yorkshire Police/Handout via Reuters

The defendants faced charges including rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment relating to three victims aged as young as 13 at the time.

A 2014 inquiry headed by Professor Alexis Jay - currently the head of Britain’s wider, national inquiry into historical sex abuse - found at least 1,400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Those convicted at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday were: Sageer Hussain, Mohammed Whied, Ishtiaq Khaliq, Waleed Ali, Asif Ali, Masoued Malik, Basharat Hussain and Naeem Rafiq. They will be sentenced on Nov. 4.

“Their victims were targeted, sexualised, and in some cases subjected to degrading and violent acts,” said Peter Mann, Head of the Complex Casework Unit of Yorkshire and Humberside Crown Prosecution Service.

“Sageer Hussain in particular took a leading role in befriending the young girls, and in the case of one victim, passed her on to his friends and other associates, assisted in various ways by the other defendants,” he added in a statement.

“These men’s actions are utterly abhorrent. They waged a campaign of sexual violence and intimidation against young girls.”

In February, a gang of six were jailed for a combined 103 years for their parts in the rape and sexual exploitation of girls in the town.

Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Costas Pitas

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