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Rochdale grooming gang members could be deported after judges uphold ruling to strip them of British citizenship

Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf among nine men jailed for sexually exploiting young girls

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 08 August 2018 17:26 BST
Adil Khan, Abdul Aziz and Qari Abdul Rauf (l-r) were ‘motivated by greed and lust’, a judge said
Adil Khan, Abdul Aziz and Qari Abdul Rauf (l-r) were ‘motivated by greed and lust’, a judge said (PA)

Three members of a Rochdale grooming gang face possible deportation after judges upheld a decision to strip them of British citizenship.

Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf were among nine men jailed in 2012 after grooming and sexually exploiting young girls.

In some cases the girls, aged in their early teens, were raped and pimped out to paying customers in Rochdale and Oldham.

Aziz, Khan and Rauf were told by the Home Office three years ago that they would be stripped of their citizenship – potentially being deported to Pakistan.

Each of them challenged the decision, arguing it amounted to a breach of their human rights, but their cases were rejected by both the government’s First Tier Tribunal (FTT) and Upper Tribunal.

The FTT said it had “no hesitation” in finding that, given the “grave nature” of their crimes, the consequences to the men and their families did not outweigh the public interest in depriving them of their citizenship.

The men took their case to the Court of Appeal and represented themselves before three senior judges at a hearing in July. Khan insisted he was innocent of any crime.

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They argued that the previous tribunals did not take enough account of the fact they may be deported as a result of the decision to remove their citizenship.

Rejecting their appeals, Lord Justice Sales and two other judges ruled that the tribunals made a “proper and lawful assessment” of the likelihood of deportation.

The judge said: “Given the extremely serious nature of the offending by each appellant, there is no good ground for calling that conclusion into question. There was no error of law by the FTT.”

All three men, from Rochdale, were found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Aziz, who was one of the ringleaders of the gang and referred to by some of the others as The Master, was jailed for nine years.

Married father-of-five Raul was jailed for six years and Khan for eight years.

Outlining their offending, Lord Justice Sales said: “All the men treated the girls as though they were worthless and beyond all respect. They were motivated by lust and greed.”

The judge said that, in the event the Home Office does decide to deport the men, they will each have the right to appeal and will be “entitled” to argue that deportation would infringe their human rights and those of their family members.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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