Police in an area where a gang of Muslim men were jailed for repeatedly raping a 13-year-old white girl are investigating 179 new sex crimes involving 165 suspects, it was revealed today.
- West Yorkshire Police investigating 179 child sex crimes and 165 suspects
- Force says 100 young victims are being supported in Keighley and Bradford
- Campaigners say that the true figure could be far higher than that
- Muslim paedophile gang who raped victim, 13, for year were jailed for 143 years
- Ringleader and drug dealer Arif Chowdhury, 20, fled to Bangladesh to avoid jail
West Yorkshire Police have said today that more than 100 young victims are being supported in Keighley and Bradford.
The force says there are 179 crimes where child sexual exploitation is believed to be a factor under investigation in the city.
Local child safety campaigner Angela Sinfield has said the ‘number is too high’ and believes it is probably far higher because many victims do not come forward.
‘It should not be down to that child having to make the complaint. At the moment, if the child refuses to give evidence then the case doesn’t come to court,’ she told the Keighley News.
‘One of the biggest problems is that these children don’t see themselves as victims. They’ll say that these men are their “boyfriends’, even when these are much older, married men’.
Last year a gang of 12 Muslim paedophiles from the area were jailed for 143 years after they passed a 13-year-old girl around for sex, with men queuing up to rape her.
Drug dealer ringleader Arif Chowdhury – who is on the run – and his friends terrorised the vulnerable teenager and orchestrated most of the other sex attacks by Muslim men he knew.
Chowdhury, 20, who would rape the schoolgirl while laughing in her face, managed to fly to Bangladesh while on bail in 2012 – a country with no extradition treaty with Britain.
Most of the jobless paedophiles led a ‘feckless and unattractive’ life, smoking drugs and hanging around in an underground car park, their trial judge said.
When Chowdhury offered the vulnerable teenager up as a sex object, the men lined up and raped her time and time again.
Judge Thomas said: ‘She clearly demanded pity and understanding but their view of her was heartless and demeaning.
‘They showed her no shred of decency or humanity when, as a vulnerable child, she so needed care and understanding.’
During the trial, the jury heard how Chowdhury regularly beat the girl. Some of the sex assaults took place on an old sofa in a disused underground car park. On another occasion, five men raped her in succession in the street.
Even if Chowdhury was not present, the threat of what he might do was enough to ensure the terrified girl did not flee.
Throughout her ordeal, she was known to the police and social services. One social worker even took her to have a contraceptive coil fitted at the age of just 14.
Eventually in May 2012, she was put in care. Now aged 18, she told in a statement how she still suffered from the physical and mental effects of her ordeal.
A local councillor later caused outrage after appearing to dismiss the scandal.
Although he condemned the gang Zafar Ali said: ‘It takes two to Tango, there are bad apples, but it doesn’t mean to say everyone is bad.
‘There is some feeling from some people that she played her part in it, the victim had a part to play, I couldn’t make any comment on that but it’s not widespread.’
The case echoed the abuse of young girls by Muslim grooming gangs in Rochdale and Rotherham, where police ignored vulnerable victims and avoided arresting predominantly Muslim men fearing they would seem racist.
The ringleader of the Rochdale child sex ring is continuing to fight his extradition to Pakistan at taxpayer expense.
Shabir Ahmed – who told his victims to call him ‘daddy’ – was the head of the gang portrayed in the shocking BBC drama Three Girls last month.
As the programme shone a further spotlight on the scandal, it emerged that Ahmed – who was jailed in 2012 – is still trying to stay in Britain.
Ahmed, a Pakistani who acquired British citizenship by naturalisation, was set to be removed from the UK following his conviction for the sickening crimes.
He, along with at least eight others, plied girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs before ‘passing them around’ for sex, their trial heard.
Earlier this year, immigration judges rejected claims that removing them from the UK would affect the welfare of their children.
He said he was convicted by ‘eleven white jurors’, adding: ‘It’s become fashionable to blame everything on Muslims these days.’
Three times married Ahmed told the court he had four children living in the UK, had lived here for nearly 50 years and had £83,000 in a UK bank account.
Of the nine men convicted over the scandal in 2012, only Shabir Ahmed, 64, who was caged for 22 years, and Mohammed Sajid, 40, who was jailed for 12 years, remain behind bars.
Mohammed Amin, 50; Abdul Qayyum, 49; and Hamid Safi, 27, were all jailed for five years or less and have now completed their sentences.
Adil Khan, 47; Abdul Rauf, 48; Abdul Aziz, 46; and Kabeer Hassan, 30, are all believed to have been released on licence after going beyond the half-way point of their sentences.
The other three mounting the case against deportation are Adil Khan, Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz.