Huddersfield grooming gang
The Huddersfield grooming gang was a group of men who were convicted of sexual offences against girls in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. It is the largest gang ever convicted for sex abuse in the United Kingdom. The offences took place between 2004 and 2011, and the men were charged following the Operation Tendersea inquiry by the police. The trials began in April 2017 and 20 men were convicted in 2018 in three separate trials. Since then, further men have been convicted in a series of trials, bringing the total number of men convicted to 41 by August 2021.
A report released in June 2019 indicated that 15 of the 22 females involved were known to children's services. Although there was "sufficient evidence" that two girls were being sexually exploited, one as early as 2007, no action was taken by the Kirklees Children's Services.
Twenty-seven men were accused of sexual offences including rape and trafficking against 18 girls aged between 11 and 17, with two further women accused of child neglect. Due to the large number of defendants, the court proceedings against them were conducted in three separate trials. Reporting restrictions on the trial were imposed in November 2017 under the 1981 Contempt of Court Act to avoid prejudice on subsequent trials.
However, the restrictions on reporting was criticised by the far right, who claimed that it was a cover-up as the defendants were Asian and Muslims, and that it amounted to "state censorship". Far right activist Tommy Robinson live-streamed video from outside the court on Facebook during the second of the trials, filmed some of the accused and talked about Muslims and "jihad rape gangs", which led to his arrest and prosecution for contempt of court.
Twenty men were convicted of rape and abuse against 15 girls in October of 2018. The men were convicted of more than 120 offences against 15 girls, and jailed for a total of 221 years. Reporting restrictions on the trials were partially lifted in October 2018. Sixteen of the gang were sentenced in October 2018, the remaining four were sentenced in November 2018. One of the convicted gang members, Faisal Nadeem, appealed against the sentence arguing that Robinson's live video had prejudiced the trial, but his permission to appeal was refused by a Court of Appeal judge.
A total of 29 people were arrested and charged by March 2017 under Operation Tendersea. Most of the gang were Pakistani and were from the areas of Huddersfield, Sheffield, Bradford and Dewsbury. The ringleader of the gang was Amere Singh Dhaliwal, a Indian Sikh (a married father of two children himself, who was also known by the nickname "Prestos"). In total 15 girls were abused. The first allegations to be taken seriously were made in 2011 when a victim wrote a letter to a judge about the abuse although no formal complaint was lodged at the time. A formal complaint was made in 2013 by another victim.
Twenty of the accused were first convicted on 19 October 2018 of 120 offences against the 15 girls. One of the gang members, Sajid Hussain, fled during the trial and was sentenced in his absence. Two more men were sentenced in June 2019. Mohammed Akram was previously convicted and had his sentenced increased whilst Usman Khalid was sentenced to five years. A further five men were jailed in November 2019. Three of the men were not named for legal reasons whilst Umar Zaman fled to Pakistan and was sentenced in his absence. Seven more men were convicted in February 2020. A man was convicted in April 2020 along with another previously unnamed man, Shaqeel Hussain, who was sentenced to a further 12 months. Three men were sentenced in July 2021 for rape and grooming offences dating back to the 1990's.Three more men were sentenced in August 2021 whilst another man was further sentenced.
|Amere Singh Dhaliwal||35||Life with a minimum term of 18 years|
|Irfan Ahmed||34||8 years|
|Zahid Hassan||29||39 years (increased from 18 years)|
|Mohammed Kammer||34||16 years|
|Mohammed Rizwan Aslam||31||15 years|
|Abdul Rehman||31||16 years|
|Raj Singh Barsran||34||17 years|
|Nahman Mohammed||32||15 years|
|Mansoor Akhtar||27||8 years|
|Wiqas Mahmud||38||15 years|
|Nasarat Hussain||30||17 years|
|Sajid Hussain||33||17 years|
|Mohammed Irfraz||30||6 years|
|Faisal Nadeem||32||12 years|
|Mohammed Azeem||33||18 years|
|Manzoor Hassan||38||5 years|
|Mohammed Akram||33||22 years (increased from 17 years)|
|Niaz Ahmed||54||5 years|
|Asif Bashir||33||15 years (increased from 11 years)|
|Mohammed Imran Ibrar||34||3 years|
|Usman Khalid||31||5 years|
|Umar Zaman||31||8 years|
|Samuel Fikru||32||8 years|
|Banaris Hussain||36||10 years|
|Banaras Hussain||39||9 years 6 months|
|Usman Ali||34||8 years|
|Abdul Majid||35||11 years|
|Gul Riaz||43||15 years|
|Manzoor Akhtar||31||4 years 6 months|
|Shaqeel Hussain||36||9 years (increased from 8 years)|
|Talish Ahmed||41||10 years|
|Mohammed Akram||44||13 years|
|Banaras Hussain||44||18 years|
|Saqib Raheel||34||10 years 6 months|
|Sholan James||30||6 years|
|Rashid Iqbal||46||12 years|
|Unnamed Man||30||4 years|
|Unnamed Man||37||8 years|
|Unnamed Man||32||14 years|
|Unnamed Man||32||8 years|
|Unnamed Man||38||7 years|
Remarks by Sajid Javid
After the reporting restrictions were lifted, the Conservative Home Secretary Sajid Javid sent out a tweet stating: "These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice. I want to commend the bravery of the victims. For too long, they were ignored. Not on my watch. There will be no no-go areas." His referencing of the ethnic heritage of the offenders was strongly condemned by senior Labour politicians Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan and David Lammy, who alleged that he was seeking “to pin the blame on [...] one group” and pandering to the toxic racist agenda of the far right. In a later interview with Sky News, Javid accused his critics of being "oversensitive" and refused to apologize or withdraw his comment, saying: "When I made that comment I was stating the facts, and the sad truth is that if you look at recent high-profile convictions of gang-based child sexual exploitation there is a majority of people that come from Pakistani heritage backgrounds - that's plain for everyone to see." In December 2020, a report by the Home Office concluded that the majority of CSE gangs were composed of whites, and that it is not possible to conclude that Asian men are disproportionately engaged in such crimes.
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- "Seven men convicted of grooming teenage girls in Huddersfield". The Guardian. PA Media. 18 February 2020.
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- Bell, Guy (19 August 2021). "Snivelling Huddersfield rapist has audacity to moan 'I'm a broken man'". YorkshireLive. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
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- "Javid: People offended by 'Asian' paedophile remark 'oversensitive'". Sky News. 20 October 2018.
- "Group-based Child Sexual Exploitation Characteristics of Offending" (PDF). Home Office. December 2020.
- Grierson, Jamie (15 December 2020). "Most child sexual abuse gangs made up of white men, Home Office report says". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
- Cockbain, Ella; Tufail, Waqas (19 December 2020). "A new Home Office report admits grooming gangs are not a 'Muslim problem". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 December 2020.