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 in April 2017 and convicted in 2018 in three separate trials.[1] 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 for a retrial.[2]

A further 31 defendants had been charged with sexual offences committed between 2005 and 2012 in August 2018.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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".[6][7] Far right activist Tommy Robinson 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.[2][7] He received a 13-month jail sentence for contempt of court in May 2018, but was released in August 2018 after he won his challenge against the ruling in the Court of Appeal.[6] The case has been referred to the attorney general.[8]

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 220 years. 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.[9][10]

Perpetrators[edit]

The 20 men are all of Asian – mainly Pakistani – origin. Their ringleader was Amere Singh Dhaliwal, a British Indian, who converted to Sikhism in 2013.[5][11]

  • Amere Singh Dhaliwal
  • Irfan Ahmed
  • Zahid Hassan
  • Mohammed Kammer
  • Mohammed Rizwan Aslam
  • Abdul Rehman
  • Raj Singh Barsran
  • Nahman Mohammed
  • Mansoor Akhtar
  • Wiqas Mahmud
  • Nasarat Hussain
  • Sajid Hussain
  • Mohammed Irfraz
  • Faisal Nadeem
  • Mohammed Azeem
  • Manzoor Hassan
  • Niaz Ahmed
  • Mohammed Imran Ibrar
  • Asif Bashir
  • Mohammed Akram

Controversy over 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."[12] 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.[12] In a later interview with Sky News, Javid accused of 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."[13]

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 Dearden, Lizzie (19 October 2018). "Tommy Robinson could have caused Huddersfield grooming trials to collapse and child rapists go free". The Independent.
  3. ^ "Huddersfield child sex inquiry: Thirty-one people charged". BBC. 15 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Huddersfield child sex inquiry sees 29 in court". BBC. 12 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b Wright, Oliver (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming: How the West Yorkshire gang operated". BBC.
  6. ^ a b Powell, Tom (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: How Tommy Robinson 'jeopardised sex abuse trial'". The Evening Standard.
  7. ^ a b Perraudin, Frances (29 May 2018). "EDL founder Tommy Robinson jailed for contempt of court". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Tommy Robinson: Contempt case referred to attorney general". BBC. 23 October 2018.
  9. ^ Halliday, Josh (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang jailed for abusing vulnerable girls". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Halliday, Josh (1 November 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: four more jailed for abusing girls". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (19 October 2018). "Huddersfield grooming gang: Men convicted of sexually abusing vulnerable girls and jailed for 220 years". The Independent.
  12. ^ a b "Sajid Javid lambasted for 'Asian paedophiles' tweet". The Guardian. 20 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Javid: People offended by 'Asian' paedophile remark 'oversensitive'". Sky News. 20 October 2018.