Grooming gang were ‘monsters’
A VICTIM of a grooming gang that sexually abused vulnerable girls described the men who got her addicted to drugs as “monsters”.
Another said she still had flashbacks to what happened to her six years ago at parties – known as “sessions” – where girls were given drugs and then persuaded or forced to have sex.
A third said the gang members put her down and thought “they are superior to women, and girls do not have the same rights as men”.
The statements were read out during a sentencing hearing at Newcastle Crown Court where three men were to be dealt with.
The prosecutions followed the long-running Operation Shelter investigation into sexual exploitation, largely in Newcastle’s West End.
The inquiry involved the controversial use of a police informant who was himself a child rapist and was paid almost £10,000 by Northumbria Police.
John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said girls were invited to parties and given alcohol and mephedrone.
He said: “The girls were expected to offer sexual services in return. The women... sometimes consented, sometimes did not consent and sometimes were incapable of consenting.”
Mr Elvidge said the victims who gave evidence in court were white British and the defendants were “all of Asian extraction” and mostly British-born.
But the authorities decided their offending was not racially motivated, he added.
Eight men were convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, while others prosecuted were involved in supplying drugs.
The prosecutor described the conspirators’ method as “cynical and systematic” in that they tricked victims into believing they were in a relationship with their abusers. In victim statements, one called them “monsters” and said she no longer trusted men.
Another said: “The way they tricked us into thinking they were our friends was disgusting.”
Mohammed Azram, 35, picked up girls from a courtyard in the city’s West End known as “The Box”. One victim said he took her to a party where she saw another girl being treated like a slave.
Mr Elvidge said: “The witness described her as looking upset, she was dirty, the bedclothes were dirty, her clothes were ripped.”
Azram admitted a string of drugs offences and was convicted of one count of sexual assault and one count of inciting prostitution.
The sentencing hearing and more gang members will be dealt with throughout the week.
ABUSERS: Nadeem Aslam, Mohammed Azram, Abdul Sabe and Jahangir Zaman