Sex abuse gang who preyed on vulnerable girls jailed

Hassan Abdulla, 33, Zdeno Mirga, 18, Renato Balog, 18, Jan Kandrac, 17, and an unnamed 14-year-old were sentenced today. Photo: Police handout

A Peterborough child sex gang, who raped and sexually assaulted girls - some as young as 12 - have been jailed.

Three men and two youths, of Czech and Slovak Roma, and Kurdish backgrounds, preyed on a total of five girls, including one with severe learning difficulties, in Peterborough, last year, the Old Bailey heard.

ITV News reporter Sejal Karia reports:

Today 18-year-old Zdeno Mirga was told he must serve 16 and a half years in prison and will be put on the sex offenders register for life.

Meanwhile, 33-year-old Hassan Abdulla was sentenced to 20 years in prison, serving two thirds, with an additional five years on license.

Renato Balog, 18, will serve 12 years in a young offenders institution and will be put on the sex offenders register for life and Jan Kandrac, 17, was sentenced to five and a half years in a young offenders institute.

As well as being raped and sexually assaulted, the gang's victims were also forced to have sex with men for money, which was used to buy drugs and alcohol.

Judge John Bevan QC told the court that despite the gang members living legally in the UK for between five and 12 years, taxpayers will have to foot a £40,000 bill for interpreters following the trial.

He told them: "The combination of the crimes you have committed and your attitude to these crimes both in this country and this court bring discredit on all of you in the dock."

"[It also] does a disservice to your fellow Roma who want to work hard in this country, improve themselves and make a positive contribution.

"If you want to live in this country you must do so in an appropriate way."With rights come responsibilities, which you have singularly failed to take."