SO­MALI SEX GANG PREYED ON TEENAGE GIRLS 3 are jailed

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

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.”

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