‘Vile and wicked’ Asian grooming gang jailed for a total of more than 55 years


Six men convicted of raping two vulnerable schoolgirls have been sentenced to a combined 55 and a half years in prison. 

Usman Ali, Banaras Hussain, Abdul Majid, Gul Riaz and two other defendants were sentenced today after a four-week trial at Leeds Crown Court. 

A seventh man will be sentenced tomorrow.  

The sickening abuse took place between 1995 and 2011 in Huddersfield and the girls were aged just 13 and 14 when they fell victim to the vile gang. 

The court heard that the schoolgirls were ‘made to feel special’ by the ‘vile and wicked’ predators who then treated them as ‘objects to be used and abused at will’.

By the time she was 15, the first victim had been raped by 300 men.  

Leeds Crown Court heard today how both girls now suffer with PTSD, while one of the victims has also had a lifelong struggle with depression and bulimia.

Gul Riaz, 43, also of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of rape and two indecent assaults against one girl and rape against the other

Gul Riaz, 43, also of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of rape and two indecent assaults against one girl and rape against the other

Usman Ali, also known as Johnny, 34, from Huddersfield, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape. He has been jailed for eight years

Usman Ali, also known as Johnny, 34, from Huddersfield, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape. He has been jailed for eight years

Usman Ali, also known as Johnny, 34, from Huddersfield, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape. He has been jailed for eight years

A total of 34 men have now been convicted following West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Tendersea investigation into child sexual exploitation in the town, with prison sentences totalling more than 300 years.

The defendants were convicted of nine counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault after the sixth trial to come from the Tendersea inquiry.

A jury took 12 hours and 49 minutes to convict the men of 12 offences yesterday, including rape and indecent assault. 

Three of the rapists cannot be named for legal reasons.

Detectives on the case said the fact that one of the girls was targeted on her paper round ‘speaks volumes about the sheer depravity of this case’.

The first victim was introduced to older men by a school friend and by the time she was 15, had sex with up to 300 men, the jury heard during the trial.

Social services eventually told the girl’s family that ‘she must love it if she keeps going back’, according to Ms Batty.

Abdul Majid, 36, of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 11 years after being found guilty of raping one victim twice

Abdul Majid, 36, of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 11 years after being found guilty of raping one victim twice

Abdul Majid, 36, of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 11 years after being found guilty of raping one victim twice

Banaras Hussain, 39, of Shipley, was jailed for nine and a half years after being found guilty of raping one of the schoolgirls

Banaras Hussain, 39, of Shipley, was jailed for nine and a half years after being found guilty of raping one of the schoolgirls

Banaras Hussain, 39, of Shipley, was jailed for nine and a half years after being found guilty of raping one of the schoolgirls

In a victim statement read out to the court, the victim said she kept the abuse ‘buried’ for 22 years citing a different incident where she ‘wasn’t believed’ by the police.

The statement continued to say she was ‘let down’ and ‘ashamed’ but after seeing her assailant’s mugshot in a local paper, became committed to getting justice against the men who ‘took away her childhood’.

She said she had to ‘lay her soul bare’ in front of complete strangers.

Speaking of the first victim, prosecutor Andrea Parnham, told the court today: ‘She suffered from stress, anxiety, low self esteem – she has panic attacks.

‘Her childhood has been taken away from her. She was a bright and wacky kid but that’s all changed. 

What is Operation Tendersea? 

Six men were jailed today for the rape and sexual exploitation of teenagers in Huddersfield. 

A seventh is due to be sentenced tomorrow. 

It means that a total of 34 men have now been convicted following West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Tendersea investigation into child sexual exploitation in the town, with prison sentences totalling more than 300 years. 

So far, six cases have been heard through the operation, leading to multiple convictions and total sentences of 377 and a half years. 

It is the single biggest group of convicted rapists in the same area. 

Another trial stemming from the operation is due to start in April. 

DCI Richard McNamara of Kirklees District, West Yorkshire Police said today: ‘Operation Tendersea should send a very clear message that the Police and our Partners at Kirklees will not hesitate to pursue those who sexually abuse children and we will do all we can to seek justice for the victims, no matter when, or how long ago the abuse took place.

‘I would urge anyone who may have been the victim of child sexual abuse in Kirklees or elsewhere who has not contacted us to come forwards.’  

 ‘She kept it buried for 22 years. She tried to report an incident in 1997 but she was disbelieved and felt let down by them.

‘She had to cope with feelings of self-loathing and shame. The feelings never left her and haunt her on a daily basis. 

‘She knows now they were using, grooming and manipulating her for their own purposes and she has to live with that for the rest of her life.’

 The other woman suffers from PTSD, depression and bulimia.

Speaking after the predators were jailed, Judge Geoffrey Marson described their actions as disgusting and degrading and said the sentences were severe to discourage other potential groomers. 

He also described how the men convicted by Operation Tendersea targeted girls because of their vulnerability and created a relationship of trust that allowed ‘predatory men to perpetrate gross sexual abuse for their own perverted gratification’.

He said: ‘They were planned offences by a large group of Asian men.

‘It is likely many of these girls will never recover from the abuse they suffered.’

Judge Marson described the grooming of the girls as ‘insiduous and persistent’.

He said the girls were controlled by violence, or the threat of violence against themselves and their families.

He said the jury in this trial heard evidence of one of the victims going missing and returning home ‘heavily under the influence of alcohol or drugs’, sometimes naked on her lower half and with injuries.

She was raped by every defendant in this case, often when she was too drunk to be capable of consenting to sexual activity and sometimes with other people present.

The judge said she was raped by Usman Ali in his car, who was ‘rough and aggressive’ and left her in tears, while Abdul Majid raped her numerous times, often threatening to not take her home unless she had sex with him.

Judge Marson told Majid: ‘You raped her as the price for taking her home. You repeatedly abused her for your own sexual gratification.’

The judge said the second victim was regularly plied with drugs and alcohol ‘in order to facilitate the gross sexual abuse by the older men’.

Judge Marson said she was indecently assaulted and raped by Gul Riaz, who plied her with vodka at her father’s flat.

The victims told the court how they continue to be affected by the actions of the men. 

Usman Ali (pictured above), also known as Johnny, 34, from Huddersfield, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape

Usman Ali (pictured above), also known as Johnny, 34, from Huddersfield, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape

Usman Ali (pictured above), also known as Johnny, 34, from Huddersfield, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape

Ali, 34, of Huddersfield, was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of two offences of rape against one victim.

Riaz, 43, also of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of rape and two indecent assaults against one girl and rape against the other.

Banaras Hussain, 39, of Shipley, was jailed for nine and a half years after being found guilty of raping one of the schoolgirls. 

Abdul Majid, 36, of Huddersfield, was sentenced to 11 years after being found guilty of raping one victim twice.

A 36-year-old Huddersfield man was sentenced to eight years after being found guilty of rape, while a sixth, 30 and also from Huddersfield, was jailed for four years for raping one of the girls. 

Meanwhile, a seventh man, a 37-year-old from Huddersfield, will be sentenced tomorrow after he was found guilty of raping one girl.  

DCI Richard McNamara of Kirklees District, West Yorkshire Police said after the verdict: ‘The sentences handed down to these men today reflect the depravity of their actions and I hope it will bring some comfort to their victims to see them jailed.

Gul Riaz (above), also known as Saj, 43, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault on Tuesday

Gul Riaz (above), also known as Saj, 43, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault on Tuesday

Gul Riaz (above), also known as Saj, 43, was unanimously convicted of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault on Tuesday

‘Their actions in targeting and sexually abusing these very young and vulnerable girls were utterly despicable and I am very pleased the courts have recognised this and put them behind bars for a number of years.

‘Operation Tendersea should send a very clear message that the Police and our Partners at Kirklees will not hesitate to pursue those who sexually abuse children and we will do all we can to seek justice for the victims, no matter when, or how long ago the abuse took place.

‘I would urge anyone who may have been the victim of child sexual abuse in Kirklees or elsewhere who has not contacted us to come forwards.’  

An NSPCC spokesperson said: ‘These men groomed and preyed on vulnerable teenagers, treating these young girls as nothing more than objects during sexual abuse offences which took place over a number of years.

‘Each of them caused untold damage to the lives of their victims, who suffered horrendous experiences at their hands.

‘We hope the girls are all receiving all the support they need, and we urge anyone who has experienced sexual abuse to speak out and seek support.’  

On Tuesday, the court heard from prosecutor Kate Batty who stated that the victims were deliberately targeted by older men and had been made to feel special when they gave them alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.

It was said that the abuse often took place in cars, hotels and flats, including in a flat belonging to a man who was ‘involved with drugs and had a gun’.

Mrs Batty said the girls would ‘regularly be out of it’ with drink and drugs and added that the first victim had been introduced to older men by a school friend.

‘She didn’t know their names half of the time or she would know only their nickname. She was threatened, she was spoken down to, she was intimidated and she was assaulted.

‘She was frightened and she saw absolutely no way out of this life.’

She added that the youngster had been ‘utterly corrupted’ and that she had been ‘made to believe she had no choice’ but to continue with the lifestyle she had found herself in.

The victim’s family had tried hard to keep her safe and had sought help from both police and social services on multiple occasions.

Mrs Batty added: Back then, perhaps the authorities didn’t have the understanding that they now have about grooming and child sexual exploitation.

‘Social services eventually told [the girl’s] family that [she] must love it if she keeps going back.’ 

‘The final straw for her was when she was thrown out of a car with her trousers round her ankles, having had sex with two or three of the men in the car – she can’t remember[how many].

‘She was drunk and drugged. She was 15 years old’, Mrs Batty said. 

Michael Quinn, from the CPS, said: ‘At the heart of this case are the two victims. They have suffered immensely as a result of their childhood abuse.

We would like to acknowledge their great courage in coming forward to assist the investigation and then to support the prosecution.

‘I sincerely hope the convictions of their abusers will go some way to helping these young women to rebuild their lives. Our thoughts remain with them.’ 

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