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  1. ITV Report

Students jailed for sexually exploiting vulnerable teenage girls

The men have been jailed for 17 years between them. Credit: Staffordshire Police

Four students who sexually exploited vulnerable teenage girls have been jailed for 17 years between them, after a judge said they treated their victims like "trophies".

The five victims were all 13-14 years old when they were sexually abused between December 2016 and March 2017.

One of the girls only realised she had been groomed after watching an educational video.

18-year-old Mohammed Hizwar Rizwan and Taiyab Hussain, Shaheem Ratyal, and Sohail Raja Ali, who are are 19, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child and other sexual offences.

Passing sentence at Stafford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Gosling said:

"These were young men treating the young girls like trophies, and to some extent, one was spurring on the other."

– Judge Jonathan Gosling

The men, who are all from Staffordshire, were given sexual harm prevention orders, banning them from Snapchat for eight years.

They also face a lifetime registration on the Sex Offenders Register.

Their individual sentences are as follows:

  • Hussain, of Shobnall Street, Burton-upon-Trent, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and two counts of possession of an indecent photograph of a child. He was jailed for 5 years.
  • Rizwan, of Derby Road, Burton-upon-Trent, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He was given a 4 years and 4 months prison sentence.
  • Ratyal, of Grange Street, Burton-upon-Trent, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and five counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He was jailed for 4 years and 4 months.
  • Ali, of Weston Park Avenue, Burton-upon-Trent, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity. He was given a 4 year prison sentence.

Detective Inspector Simon Caton, the senior investigating officer on the case, said:

I welcome today's sentences and I would like to pay tribute to the girls' incredible bravery in coming forward initially and throughout this long and complex investigation.

Although by pleading guilty, they have prevented the victims from having to relive their ordeal through a trial, they should not have been put in this position in the first place.

– Detective Inspector Simon Caton, Child Exploitation Team, Staffordshire Police

John Wood, chair of the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board, said:

The fact that the victims were willing to stand up and give evidence in court, if needed, was a key part in persuading those responsible to admit their offences before the trial.

I admire their bravery, as the primary concern of all the agencies involved in this case has been to ensure the young victims were seen, heard and protected.

Today's sentencing sends the clear message that child sexual abuse will not be tolerated in our communities and that people who report such matters will be listened to and supported.

– John Wood, Chair, Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board