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 was 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 35 by April 2020 for a total of 380 years.[2][3]

At one of the trials, the founder of English Defence League Tommy Robinson filmed the defendants and received a 13-month jail sentence for contempt of court in May 2018, later overturned,[4] and was given a nine-month sentence in July 2019 in a retrial.[5]

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 were taken by the Kirklees Children's Services.[6]

Trials[edit]

27 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.[7] 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.[8]

However, the restrictions on reporting was criticised by the far right, who claimed that it was a cover-up as its perpetrators were "Asian" and "Muslims", and that it amounted to "state censorship".[9][10]

20 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.[11] Reporting restrictions on the trials were partially lifted in October 2018.[1] 16 of the gang were sentenced in October 2018, the remaining four were sentenced in November 2018.[12][13] 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.[14]

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]

The first 20 men convicted are all of Asian – mainly Pakistani – origin. Their ringleader was Amere Singh Dhaliwal, a British Indian, who converted to Sikhism in 2013.[8][15] One of the grooming gang members, Sajid Hussain, fled during the trial and was sentenced in his absence.[16]

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.[17]

A further five men were jailed in November 2019 under Operaton Tendersea. Three of the men were not named for legal reasons whilst Umar Zaman fled to Pakistan and was sentenced in his absence.[18][19]

Seven more men were convicted in February 2020.[20][21]

A man was convicted in April 2020 along with another previously unnamed man, Shaqeel Hussai, who was sentenced to a further 12 months.[3]

Name Age Sentence
Amere Singh Dhaliwal 35 Life with a minimum term of 18 years
Irfan Ahmed 34 8 years
Zahid Hassan 29 18 years
Mohammed Kammer 34 16 years
Mohammed Rizwan Aslam 31 15 years
Adbul 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 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)
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."[22] 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.[22] 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."[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "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. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (19 October 2018). "Tommy Robinson could have caused Huddersfield grooming trials to collapse and child rapists go free". The Independent.
  5. ^ Quinn, Ben (11 July 2019). "Tommy Robinson given nine-month jail sentence for contempt of court". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Chances 'lost' to break Huddersfield child abuse sex ring". BBC. 10 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Huddersfield child sex inquiry sees 29 in court". BBC. 12 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b Wright, Oliver (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming: How the West Yorkshire gang operated". BBC.
  9. ^ Powell, Tom (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: How Tommy Robinson 'jeopardised sex abuse trial'". The Evening Standard.
  10. ^ Perraudin, Frances (29 May 2018). "EDL founder Tommy Robinson jailed for contempt of court". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Davidson, Tom (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang whose court cases were protested by Tommy Robinson jailed for total 221 years". Mirrors.
  12. ^ Halliday, Josh (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang jailed for abusing vulnerable girls". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Halliday, Josh (1 November 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: four more jailed for abusing girls". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (9 July 2019). "Tommy Robinson caused Huddersfield grooming gang member to appeal conviction, court ruling reveals". The Independent.
  15. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: Men convicted of sexually abusing vulnerable girls and jailed for 220 years". The Independent.
  16. ^ Finnegan, Stephanie (4 November 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang victims don't feel safe with rapist still at large". Examiner Live.
  17. ^ Finnegan, Stephanie (21 June 2019). "Two men jailed after child in care was passed around Huddersfield grooming gang". huddersfieldexaminer. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Five men jailed over 'vile and wicked 'child abuse". 1 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Child rapist shouts 'miscarriage' as he is jailed for 10 years". Metro. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Huddersfield grooming: Seven convicted of rape and sex assault". BBC. 19 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Huddersfield grooming: 'Predatory men' jailed for rape". BBC. 19 February 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Sajid Javid lambasted for 'Asian paedophiles' tweet". The Guardian. 20 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Javid: People offended by 'Asian' paedophile remark 'oversensitive'". Sky News. 20 October 2018.