Paedophile gang jailed: 95 years

Seven men guilty of grooming young girls in Oxford are to be sentenced. The gang were found guilty of a catalogue of offences including rape, trafficking and organising prostitution.

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Abuse gang 'respected members of community'

The men terrorised the young girls over a six year period. Raising questions about why the police and social services didn't do more.

But the men were leading double lives. While abusing the girls, they were also pretending to be respectable members of the local community.

Reshma Rumsey spoke to Monowar Hussain a community leader from Oxford, Dr Sheikh Ramzy from the Oxford Islamic Centre and Riaz Ahmed from the Stanley Road Mosque.

Oxford child abuse gang 'preyed on vulnerable girls'

The judge said they preyed on young girls, who no one would believe - and, in the end, they stole their souls. Today, seven men - guilty of child exploitation - have been sentenced to a total of 95 years.

The gang preyed on the most vulnerable girls - many in care homes. One as young as 11. They were groomed, raped - and sold as prostitutes.

They targeted their first victim in 2006. But, today at the Old Bailey, they were finally brought to justice.

A Serious Case Review is now underway as Andrew Pate now reports.

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New home office group to focus on child abuse gangs

Damian Green MP, Policing and Criminal Justice Minister
Damian Green MP, Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green has responsed to the sentencing of seven men to 95 years in total for child abuse crimes.

"This horrific case of sexual exploitation shows we must strive harder to protect vulnerable children. Work is already underway to improve that protection, but I am determined to do more" he said.

"A new Home Office-led group will look at how to better identify those at risk and create a more victim-focused culture within the police, health and children’s services".

"But our prime responsibility is, of course, stopping abuse before it starts. The group will be working to target the organised crime networks that perpetrate the sort of systematic abuse we have seen in Oxford".

CPS: We will believe child abuse victims

The Crown Prosecution Service has appealed to the victims of child abuse to come forward after they secured the successful prosecution of seven men in Oxford.

I would like to thank the victims for having the courage to support prosecution and give evidence in this case.

Their bravery has ensured that seven sexual predators, who sought opportunities to target and sexually abuse and exploit vulnerable young girls, have been brought to justice.

The victims in this case were targeted because of their vulnerability and then cynically exploited.

This is an important point for other victims out there, who may think that they won't be believed because they too seemingly 'agreed' to sexual activity.

The background and context of such sexual activity is of crucial importance and victims who are forced to succumb to it by the use of such tactics do not, in the eyes of the law, consent to it.

– Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern

Thames Valley Police: this is justice for the victims

This is a great result for the victims. At last they can see justice has been done.

These men have received a total of at least 95 years. The girls can now start to move on with their lives knowing the men that caused them so much pain are locked up.

More than that, every victim around the country can see that justice does work. If you’ve suffered like these girls have, please come and tell us your story, we can help you.

There is another message here. Anyone out there who even thinks of committing sexual atrocities like these needs to look over their shoulder and keep looking over their shoulder.

We know how you work, we know how you think. Be in no doubt, we are coming for you.

– Senior Investigating Officer Simon Morton, Thames Valley Police

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NSPCC: Oxford authorities took too long to act

The NSPCC says that the authorities in Oxfordshire did not take action soon enough to stop the abuse of young vulenerable women in care.

Peter Wanless, the NSPCC CEO said: "“Whilst we recognise the authorities in Oxford did eventually take effective and coordinated action, this took far too long".

"There was a systematic failure to stop the gang earlier and protect the girls who raised the alarm on several occasions".

"The trial revealed that staff knew one of the girls was being sexually groomed yet no immediate action was taken".

" We need a fundamental shift in how the system treats vulnerable young people with all carers acting as good parents would when children are at risk".

“The positive development from all of this is that professionals are now treating the girls as victims and not delinquent children".

Barnardos: "child victims will suffer a life sentence"

What we have heard at the Old Bailey is chilling. The torment the child victims suffered will be a life sentence for them.

When sexually exploited children are so desperate to escape their ordeal that they consider committing suicide and are threatened with barbaric reprisals, we need to ask whether enough is being done to support them.

These men were able to abuse children for eight years. That can’t be allowed to happen again. A fundamental shift in the collective mindset is needed at every level of the justice system.

This is a stark reminder that everyone who deals with vulnerable children must be trained to spot the signs of abuse and sexual exploitation to remember that in every case they are children.

– Sam Monaghan, Director of Children's Services
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