1. ITV Report

Seven men convicted of child sex offences

A major criminal inquiry into a child prostitution ring in Shropshire has ended after securing the conviction of seven men who were handed jail terms ranging between 30 months and 18 years.

West Mercia Police praised the courage of the men's victims for giving evidence at a series of court hearings, including an original trial which collapsed at Stafford Crown Court in September 2011.

Details of subsequent hearings at which two men were convicted by a jury and five others pleaded guilty have previously been reported, but could not be linked until proceedings were halted against an eighth defendant.

The longest sentences handed down to those convicted during the inquiry, were jail terms of 18 and 14 years imposed on Ahdel and Mubarek Ali.

Brothers Ahdel and Mubarek Ali jailed for 18 and 14 years Credit: West Mercia Police

The brothers, who were jailed at Worcester Crown Court last October, "systematically groomed" several victims in the Telford area of Shropshire.

Ahdel Ali, 24, and 29-year-old Mubarek Ali, both of Regent Street, Wellington, Telford, had denied a variety of sexual offences, including counts of controlling child prostitution.

Five other men from the Telford area pleaded guilty to charges they faced prior to the start of their trials and were jailed for between two-and-a-half and seven years.

Mohammed Sultan, Tanveer Ahmed, Mohammed Choudry, Mahroof Khan, Mohammed Younis Credit: West Mercia Police

Mohammed Ali Sultan, Tanveer Ahmed, Mohammed Choudhrey, Mahroof Khan and Mohammed Younis were jailed during 2012 after pleading guilty to charges related to the investigation.

Sultan (top left), 26, of Victoria Avenue, Wellington, was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment last November after admitting sexual activity with two teenagers. Ahmed (mid top), 40, of Urban Gardens, Wellington, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for controlling a 16-year-old girl for prostitution.

Choudhrey (top right), 53, of Solway Drive, Sutton Hill, pleaded guilty to paying for the sexual services of a child and was also given a two-and-a-half-year sentence. Khan (bottom left), 35, of Kingshaye Road, Wellington, was jailed for 30 months for engaging in sexual activity with a child, while Younis, 60, of Kingsland, Arleston, received the same sentence for allowing his flat to be used as a brothel.

"We are pleased with the convictions we have achieved as a result of this operation - an operation that is among the most complex West Mercia Police has ever undertaken.

After years of being exploited the girls then went through a huge amount during the course of this investigation, and the trials themselves were then a real ordeal for those that gave evidence."

– Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, West Mercia Police

The original trial of at Stafford Crown Court began in May 2011 with nine defendants facing a 48-count indictment alleging the sexual exploitation of seven victims.

But the original jury was eventually discharged after a witness for the Crown admitted that she had lied during the course of her evidence.

At the first trial, jurors heard claims that a teenage girl was sold for sex against her wishes despite being pregnant, while other victims were treated as "sexual commodities to be sold or gifted" by some of the defendants, who gave them cash and drugs.