Sex gang leader Shabir Ahmed jailed for 22 years

 

The ringleader of a gang of Asian men who groomed young white girls for sex has been jailed for 22 years for a "campaign of rape" against a young Asian girl.

Shabir Ahmed, 59, led a child sex exploitation ring of nine men who targeted vulnerable young girls in the Rochdale and Oldham areas.

He was jailed for 19 years in May following an 11-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Today he received another prison term - to run concurrently - after he was convicted in June of 30 specimen counts of child rape.

A jury heard he raped and sexually abused the Asian youngster over many years and treated her as a "possession" whom he used for his own sexual gratification.

Ahmed, formerly of Windsor Road, Oldham, will in effect serve an additional three years to the sentence imposed at Liverpool Crown Court.

Sentencing him at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Judge Mushtaq Khokhar was forced to removed Ahmed from the dock before he passed sentence as he was persistently interrupted by the defendant.

Before his ejection, Ahmed shouted: "It's all lies. It's all concocted by the police."

He then looked over at the Press bench and snarled: "What are you looking at?"

The court heard that Ahmed remained "in denial" of his guilt of the repeated rapes of his victim for more than a decade.

His victim was "completely vulnerable" and too young to understand what was happening to her when he first abused her.

It then became a case of control and power amid a background of "intimidation and coercion", said the judge.

On occasion she would protest and cry but Ahmed would continue, he added.

At this remark, Ahmed shouted: "You missed my protest."

The judge said an aggravating feature was that the defendant did not use any protection while raping the girl.

The jury in his trial was told that the victim felt a sense of shame about what happened to her, which stopped her reporting it to the police for many years.

She had "rejected the idea of ever marrying or having a sexual relationship with a man of her choosing" because of the impact of what she had suffered.

Today the court heard the victim suffered from low self-confidence and had been forced to move away because she cannot face people in her community.

Judge Khokhar said: "Her future prospects are bleak, as she puts it.

"She still lives under fear because of what the defendant might do when he comes out of prison."

Explaining his sentencing, he said: "These are serious offences but I have taken care in considering whether a life sentence is appropriate in this case.

"Given that the defendant is already serving a 19-year sentence that was imposed earlier this year at another court, I think that in my judgment the public will be protected from him, as will the victim, if I was to pass a determinate sentence in this case which will run concurrently to the sentence he is already serving.

"This was a campaign of rape. There are no extenuating circumstances."

Ahmed will be on licence when he is finally released, the court heard.

Simon Nichol, defending, said statistics showed that people in his client's position reoffended in only up to 3.7% of cases following release.

The author of the pre-sentence report considered Ahmed posed a very high risk of causing serious harm to children but Mr Nichol said he questioned whether it was "quite as high as concluded".

Ahmed had not repeated such sexual offending since 2008, he added.

He said the judge also needed to consider whether he would remain a risk to the public when he would be approaching the age of 70 on release.

PA

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