Huddersfield grooming gang

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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.[1] Since then, further men have been convicted in a series of trials, bringing the total number of men convicted to 41 by August 2021.[2][3]

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.[4]

Trials[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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".[7][8] 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.[9][8]

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.[10] Reporting restrictions on the trials were partially lifted in October 2018.[1] Sixteen of the gang were sentenced in October 2018, the remaining four were sentenced in November 2018.[11][12] 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.[13]

Six separate trials had been held by February 2020, with 34 men convicted in total.[2] Another man was convicted in April 2020.[3]

Perpetrators[edit]

A total of 29 people were arrested and charged by March 2017 under Operation Tendersea.[6] Most of the gang were Pakistani and were from the areas of Huddersfield, Sheffield, Bradford and Dewsbury.[6] 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").[6][14] 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.[6]

Twenty of the accused were first convicted on 19 October 2018 of 120 offences against the 15 girls.[1] One of the gang members, Sajid Hussain, fled during the trial and was sentenced in his absence.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17][18] Seven more men were convicted in February 2020.[19][20] A man was convicted in April 2020 along with another previously unnamed man, Shaqeel Hussain, who was sentenced to a further 12 months.[3] Three men were sentenced in July 2021 for rape and grooming offences dating back to the 1990's.[21]Three more men were sentenced in August 2021 whilst another man was further sentenced.[22][23]

List of convicted perpetrators
Name Age Sentence
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[edit]

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."[24] 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.[24] 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."[25] 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.[26][27][28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Huddersfield grooming: Twenty guilty of campaign of rape and abuse". BBC. 19 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Seven men convicted of grooming teenage girls in Huddersfield". The Guardian. PA Media. 18 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Beever, Susie (27 April 2020). "Child sex offenders latest to be jailed as part of Huddersfield grooming gang investigation". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Chances 'lost' to break Huddersfield child abuse sex ring". BBC. 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Huddersfield child sex inquiry sees 29 in court". BBC. 12 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Wright, Oliver (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming: How the West Yorkshire gang operated". BBC.
  7. ^ Powell, Tom (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: How Tommy Robinson 'jeopardised sex abuse trial'". The Evening Standard.
  8. ^ a b Perraudin, Frances (29 May 2018). "EDL founder Tommy Robinson jailed for contempt of court". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (19 October 2018). "Tommy Robinson could have caused Huddersfield grooming trials to collapse and child rapists go free". The Independent.
  10. ^ Davidson, Tom (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang whose court cases were protested by Tommy Robinson jailed for total 221 years". Mirrors.
  11. ^ Halliday, Josh (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang jailed for abusing vulnerable girls". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Halliday, Josh (1 November 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: four more jailed for abusing girls". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (9 July 2019). "Tommy Robinson caused Huddersfield grooming gang member to appeal conviction, court ruling reveals". The Independent.
  14. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: Men convicted of sexually abusing vulnerable girls and jailed for 220 years". The Independent.
  15. ^ Finnegan, Stephanie (4 November 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang victims don't feel safe with rapist still at large". Examiner Live.
  16. ^ Finnegan, Stephanie (21 June 2019). "Two men jailed after child in care was passed around Huddersfield grooming gang". huddersfieldexaminer. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Five men jailed over 'vile and wicked 'child abuse". 1 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Child rapist shouts 'miscarriage' as he is jailed for 10 years". Metro. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Huddersfield grooming: Seven convicted of rape and sex assault". BBC. 19 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Huddersfield grooming: 'Predatory men' jailed for rape". BBC. 19 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Three Huddersfield men jailed for raping teenage girl". BBC News. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  22. ^ Bell, Guy (19 August 2021). "Snivelling Huddersfield rapist has audacity to moan 'I'm a broken man'". YorkshireLive. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Sex Offender Jailed In Latest Conviction in Long Running Huddersfield Operation". West Yorkshire Police. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Sajid Javid lambasted for 'Asian paedophiles' tweet". The Guardian. 20 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Javid: People offended by 'Asian' paedophile remark 'oversensitive'". Sky News. 20 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Group-based Child Sexual Exploitation Characteristics of Offending" (PDF). Home Office. December 2020.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ 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.