SOMALI SEX GANG PREYED ON TEENAGE GIRLS 3 are jailed
THREE Somali men who were part of an inner city sex ring involving the abuse, rape and trafficking of young British girls have been jailed.
Victims as young as 14 were subjected to sexual abuse that was “degrading, violent and horrible”.
Some of the girls were given drugs and alcohol and were “pestered again and again” for sex by the men, who were mostly older teenagers.
Bristol Crown Court heard the rapes became “routine” and the men regarded some of the victims, who cannot be named, as “cheap and easy”.
A jury convicted the three men of 14 charges, including trafficking, sexual assault and rape.
Judge Peter Blair QC jailed Sakariya Sheikh, 23, for 16 years, and Mohammed Dahir, 24 and Abdirashid Abdulahi, 23, both for eight years.
He told them: “You have brought shame upon your families and upon yourselves. You are not worthy of very much further attention in this court room.
My attention is focused upon the victims of your crimes. They were four children trying to find their way in life, some of them struggling with difficult issues at home.
“You used your older age, your freedom and your relative stronger power to manipulate and coerce them into becoming for you little more than objects to satisfy you sexually.”
The judge described the consequences of the abuse on the victims as “disastrous”.
“You made them feel worthless, dirty,” he told the defendants.
“Their pain goes on and so it will for you now. They are at long last receiving some measure of justice from your convictions. Their very brave and difficult decision to give evidence against you has been vindicated.”
The trial, codenamed Operation Button, was the third in a series of prosecutions of Somali men for child sexual exploitation and drugs offences.
In two earlier trials in 2014, named Operation Brooke, 14 men were jailed for more than 100 years.
The three convicted defendants in Operation Button were also found guilty then.
The case follows similar exploitation of girls across English towns and cities such as Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Telford.
During the trial, the jury heard that in March 2013 a 15-year-old girl was raped by Sheikh and another man at a flat in Bristol.
The majority of the offences happened between 2011 and 2012 against girls who had travelled to meet the men.
The prosecution said the victims “suffered sexual abuse, some of it violent, degrading and horrible”.
Eleven charges related to one victim, of whom the prosecutor said: “These men exploited BEASTS: Sakariya Sheikh ( Mohammed Dahir ( and Abdirashid Abdulahi were all found guilty her vulnerability and her longing to be wanted, they had sex with her as much as they wanted.
“They wanted sex and didn’t consider whether or not she was consenting.”
The defendants had denied all the charges. Some claimed they did not know the girls or said they had been wrongly identified.
Speaking after the case, Det Sgt Lisa Jones, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “It is impossible to comprehend the torment these girls have suffered.”