Seven men have been found guilty of sexually abusing, grooming and exploiting young girls over a seven year period in Rotherham.
Five young girls were abused by the Rotherham gang, “including one who was sexually abused by at least 100 men before the age of 16.”
The gang were convicted of offences including rape and indecent assault and are due to be sentenced on the 16th November 2018.
Sheffield Crown Court heard during the eight week trial that all of the men “preyed on the girls’ vulnerability before they were sexually assaulted and passed on to other men.” One girl described how, “she had been bitten or raped by two of the men in Sherwood Forrest while high as a kite on drugs.”
Michelle Colborne QC said,
“The girls were targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature. None of them had the maturity to understand that they were being groomed and exploited, often believing that sex of some kind was a necessary price for friendship.”
The Court heard that the men used alcohol, drugs and violence to control their victims. One victim gave evidence that they would be dumped in remote locations if she did not have sex with him and his friends and on one occasion she was abandoned at the side of the motorway. She would be taken to meet older taxi drivers who would rape her in the back of the car.
Miss Colbourne told the Court that one of the girls became pregnant and was forced to have a termination.
These convictions have come from the investigation conducted by Operation Stovewood. This is a National Crime Agency investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham which is jointly funded by South Yorkshire Police and the Home Office. It has identified more than 1500 victims. It has identified 151 suspects and is running 22 ongoing investigations.
Mike Duffy of the Crown Prosecution Service said,
“These men deliberately preyed on young, vulnerable teenagers, grooming and exploiting them. They denied the abuse but evidence put forward by the CPS, including the victims’ accounts of the incidents, resulted in the jury finding them guilty. I would like to thank the victims who came forward and bravely supported this prosecution.”
Jordans Solicitors are highly experienced in representing victims of abuse. If you have been affected by anything in this article, please contact the abuse team on 0800 9555 094 or request a call back.