Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Five guilty of grooming teenage girls for sex

Friday 05 November 2010 15:23 GMT

Five men were condemned as "sexual predators" by a judge today as he handed down lengthy jail terms after they were found guilty of grooming teenage girls for sex.

Some of the defendants wept in the dock at Sheffield Crown Court as the judge jailed them for a total of thirty two and a half years.

The five, Umar Razaq, 24, Razwan Razaq, 30, Zafran Ramzan, 21, Adil Hussain 20, and Mohsin Khan, 21, were yesterday found guilty of a string of sexually related offences against girls aged between 12 and 16 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Ramzan was found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in her own home, and the other four were found guilty of sexual activity with a child.

Judge Peter Kelson QC said: "I've listened to the backdrop of some of you sobbing - I have to say your weeping cuts no ice with me at all.

"Some years ago you had what you regarded as your fun, now you will take your punishment.

"All five of you were convicted of offences of sexual activity with a child. The clue is in the title, a child.

"This legislation concerns itself with child protection, perhaps to some extent from themselves, but particularly protection from sexual predators, like I find all five of you to be."

Umar Razaq was jailed for four and a half years, while the judge gave Razwan Razaq 11 years.

Ramzan was jailed for nine years, while Hussain and Khan both received four years. All five were placed on the sex offenders register.

The judge said the men did not care how old the girls were and they took advantage to satisfy their own sexual gratification.

He added: "The message must go out loud and clear that our society will not tolerate sexual predators preying on children.

"It is no defence to bleat that you thought she was over 16 or she told you she was over 16 or as some of you claimed 'she seemed to want it'.

"If there is any doubt at all there should be no sexual activity. You didn't care less."

Razwan Razaq was described by the judge as the "most serious offender" in the dock.

The court was told he had a previous conviction for indecently assaulting a young girl in his car and he received the longest sentence today as he had breached a previous sexual offences prevention order.

The judge said he appeared to blame the victim and was a danger to young girls.

He told him: "You are a danger to children as you appear not to care what the true ages are."

The court was told Khan was a mortgage adviser who owned a BMW car. In his own words he described his victim as a "little stick" who looked like she hadn't reached puberty.

Despite this he told her he loved her and would spoil her like a "princess".

The judge told him: "It is clear she was a child and you knew it and you took advantage of it with your flattery."

The court was read three impact statement from the victims.

One of the girls, who was aged 13 at the time, described how she was taken away from her family after the abuse emerged which "ripped my heart out" and the ordeal left her frightened.

She described how she was a little girl from a loving family, but felt her childhood had been taken away from her.

She said she had been "used and abused" and the abuse had "ruined my one and only body".

The 16-year-old victim said she had to move from Rotherham to a hostel after the abuse came to light which meant she missed out on important events with her family.

She said she no longer had any confidence and was worried about future relationships with boys.

The third victim, who was also 13 at the time, described being nervous and anxious. She said she had lost weight and was upset all the time. She described herself as being "angry" and shouted at family members.

The jury was told Umar Razaq tried to pull off a 13-year-old girl's clothes, and when she resisted he pulled her hair and called her a "white bitch",

During the trial, the jury heard the men developed relationships with three teenage girls - having sex with them in cars and parks in the Rotherham area.

The girls believed they were in relationships with the much older men.

Umar and Razwan Razaq are brothers. Ramzan is their cousin.

The authorities were alerted after changes were noted in the behaviour of the teenage victims.

As well as the rape conviction, Ramzan, of Broom Grove, Rotherham, was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child in relation to another girl. He was cleared of two further counts of rape.

Umar Razaq, of Oxford Street, Rotherham, was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child - a 13-year-old girl. He was cleared of raping another girl.

Razwan Razaq, also of Oxford Street, Rotherham, was found guilty of two charges of sexual activity with a child, relating to two different girls.

Hussain, of Nelson Street, Rotherham, was found guilty of one charge of sexual activity with a child - a 13-year-old girl.

He was cleared of three similar charges.

Khan, of Haworth Crescent, Rotherham, was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child - a 13-year-old girl.

He was cleared of two similar charges and four charges of rape.

Three other defendants were cleared of all charges against them.

South Yorkshire Police welcomed the convictions.

In a statement it said: "This case shows how seriously South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council treat the issue of child sexual exploitation.

"Often girls in these cases do not consider themselves victims and this is one of the difficulties agencies face in getting these cases to court.

"The girls demonstrated incredible bravery and without their courage, today's outcome would not have been possible."

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in