Friday, November 26, 2010
South Asian gang of predators abused and raped up to 100 girls as young as 12
A South Asian gang of sexual predators cruised city streets for girls as young as 12 - usually white - who were then plied with drink and drugs and raped or abused. Up to 100 vulnerable girls may have been groomed, abused or supplied cocaine by married fathers Abid Saddique and Mohammed Liaqat, and their friends. A court heard the pair used Liaqat’s BMW saloon to trawl for victims, pulling up alongside girls outside shops or schools and chatting them up before a campaign of calls and texts to groom them. Saddique, 27, and Liaqat, 28, plied the victims - most from broken homes - with vodka and cocaine before taking them to ‘parties’ in hotels or flats with other gang members to rape or degrade them. When girls refused their advances they were threatened with hammers or thrown out of cars. Saddique and Liaqat, each British-born and of Pakistani origin with an arranged marriage, face years behind bars after being found guilty of a catalog of sexual abuse over an 18-month period. Seven other guilty members of the gang have already been jailed. The inquiry began in late 2008 when Saddique and Liaqat, both fathers-of-one, were arrested for shoplifting and two young girls were discovered with alcohol in their car. The inquiry, called Operation Retriever, is the biggest child sex investigation ever conducted by Derbyshire Police. A total of 75 charges were brought against 13 suspects - all from Derby. Saddique, from Normanton, Derby, was convicted of four rapes, two false imprisonment charges, aiding and abetting rape, three counts of sexual activity with a child, two sexual assaults, being involved with child pornography and attempting to pervert the course of justice. Unemployed Liaqat, of Sinfin, Derby, was convicted of rape, aiding and abetting rape, being involved with child pornography, two sexual assaults, four counts of sexual activity with a child, and affray. Of the other defendants, Akshay Kumar, 38, Faisal Mehmood, 24, Mohamed Imran Rehman, 26, Ziafat Yasin, 31, and Graham Blackham, 26 - a convicted sex offender who was the only non-Asian member of the gang to face a judge - have already been jailed after being convicted of a string of sex or drug offenses. Liaqat’s brother, Naweed, 33, and Farooq Amed, 28, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and were both jailed for 18 months.