Seven men convicted at Leeds Crown Court of raping and indecently assaulting two vulnerable schoolgirls are facing years behind bars.
The victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were raped and indecently assaulted in the Huddersfield area between 1995 and 2007 after they were groomed between the ages of 12 and 14.
Prosecutor Kate Batty told the jury that both girls, who were vulnerable and had low self-esteem, were deliberately groomed by older men who made them feel special by plying them with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. They were then raped by scores of strangers in cars, Greenhead Park, hotels and flats, including in a flat belonging to a man who was ‘involved with drugs and had a gun’.
Ms Batty went on to say that the gang;
‘viewed the girls as merely objects, to be used and abused at will’
The first victim described how she was threatened, spoken down to, intimidated and assaulted. She was frightened and she saw absolutely no way out of this life.
Ms Batty continued:
‘By the time she was 15 years old, she estimates that she had had sex with up to 300 men. Not because she wanted to, or because she was freely consenting to that sex, but because she became utterly corrupted and was made to believe that she had no choice.’
Jurors heard how the second girl’s family ‘begged’ social services ‘time and time again’ for help to protect their daughter, only to be told 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.
The seven defendants were found guilty of a total of 10 counts of rape and two indecent assaults.
The above convictions bring the total number of men convicted following West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Tendersea investigation into child sexual exploitation in the town to 34.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard McNamara said:
‘The men involved in these vile offences have robbed their victims of their childhood and abused them in truly appalling ways. During the trial, the court heard that one victim came to the attention of her abusers while she was on a paper round, which speaks volumes about the sheer depravity of this case.’
The rapists, three of whom cannot be named for legal reasons, have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced today, Wednesday 19/02/2020.
If you have been a victim of child abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can either be contacted free on 0800 9555 094 or 0330 300 1103, or you can request a call back and a member of our team will contact you at a time suitable for you.