Rochdale grooming: Predatory gang jailed for child abuse

Five men who were part of grooming gang in Rochdale have been jailed for the "sickening" abuse of two teenage girls.

Mohammed Ghani, 39, Insar Hussain, 38, Jahn Shahid Ghani, 50, Martin Rhodes, 39, and Ali Razza Hussain Kazmi, 36, abused them between 2002 and 2006.

The girls would often be picked up outside school in their uniforms, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Judge Tina Landale said the men were "highly predatory" and they had committed "appalling abuse".

The schoolgirls, known as Girl A and Girl B, were aged 13 and 14 when they were plied with alcohol, cannabis and ecstasy pills before being sexually assaulted.

The court heard that they were abused by various men, either together or on their own.

The girls were sexually assaulted in cars, public parks, on Saddleworth Moor and in flats and houses in Rochdale, the jury was told.

Girl A said the abuse began after a chance meeting with Mohammed Ghani, of Bamford Way, Rochdale.

The jury heard he would have sex with the teenager then pass her on to his friends, where she was also pressured into multiple sexual encounters with men, one after the other.

Ghani was jailed for 14 years and six months after being found guilty of five counts of penetrative sex with a child.

The court heard his older brother, Jahn Shahid Ghani, of Whitworth Road, Rochdale, was described as a "sex addict" who gave Girl A up to 10 ecstasy tablets at a time and then had sex with her and another woman.

He was jailed for 20 years for causing a child to engage in sexual activity and four counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child.

Their friend Insar Hussain, of Bishop Street, Rochdale, was jailed for 17 years for rape and two counts of penetrative sex with Girl A.

Ali Razza Hussain Kasmi, of Brotherod Hall Road, Rochdale, was jailed for eight years for rape and two other sexual offences against Girl B.

A fifth man, Martin Rhodes, of Dinmore Avenue, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to four counts of penetrative sex with a child, relating to both Girl A and Girl B, and was jailed for 12 years and six months.

The allegations only came to light in 2015 after Girl A described being "beaten and raped" while on a parenting course and police were contacted.

She told course workers: "I was abused daily for six years.

"I was 12 when they began to abuse me, feeding me alcohol and drugs, abuse me and pass me on to their friends.

"They did as they pleased, they made videos of me to use as blackmail."

As a result of what she told the police, they spoke with Girl B, a childhood friend.

Jurors found Ikhlaq Yousef, 38, of Stanley Street, Rochdale, Aftar Khan, 34, of Sparth Bottoms Road, Rochdale, and Mohammed Iqbal, 67, of Gainsborough Drive, Rochdale, not guilty of all the charges against them.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "The victims in this case have shown exceptional bravery in speaking out and pursuing justice."

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