1. ITV Report

Huddersfield gang jailed for 'inhuman' campaign of rape and grooming

A gang of 20 men have been jailed for their part in an "inhuman" campaign of rape and sexual abuse against vulnerable teenagers in Huddersfield.

More than a dozen vulnerable girls, some as young as 11, were groomed and then raped in the West Yorkshire town between 2004 and 2011.

Ringleader Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, was jailed for life earlier this year and ordered to spend a minimum of 18 years in prison.

This, along with details from a total of three trials at Leeds Crown Court, could not be previously reported because of a blanket ban imposed a year ago.

This order was lifted on Friday following representations from the media.

Those already sentenced will spend a total of 221 years in prison between them.

The men referred to each other using a series of nicknames which were also used as their monikers during the trials.

They included "Beastie", "Dracula" and "Nurse".

Sentencing Dhaliwal earlier this year, the judge said: "It was a very significant campaign of rape and other sexual abuse.

"Children's lives have been ruined and families profoundly affected by seeing their children, over months and years, out of control, having been groomed by you and other members of your gang."

Amere Singh Dhaliwal was the gang's ringleader and jailed for life. Credit: Police handout

Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Mottershaw, from West Yorkshire Police, praised the "courage and tenacity" of the victims who came forward.

He said: "First and most importantly, I would like to pay tribute to each and every victim who came forward, firstly to report these heinous crimes, but to go through the gruelling court process which has taken nearly a year to conclude and to bravely give their accounts to us and the court.

"I cannot praise them enough for their courage and tenacity in helping us secure justice for them against these defendants."

The 20 convicted men, with nicknames included, are as follows:

Trial One:

  • Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, of Holly Road, Huddersfield - jailed for life, minimum of 18 years (nickname - "Pretos")
  • Irfan Ahmed, 34, of Yews Hill Road, Huddersfield - jailed for eight years ("Finny")
  • Zahid Hassan, 29, of Bland Street, Huddersfield - jailed for 18 years ("Little Manny")
  • Mohammed Kammer, 34, of West View, Huddersfield - jailed for 16 years ("Kammy")
  • Mohammed Rizwan Aslam, 31, of Huddersfield Road, Dewsbury - jailed for 15 years ("Big Riz")
  • Abdul Rehman, 31, of Darnley Drive, Sheffield - jailed for 16 years ("Beastie")
  • Raj Singh Barsran, 34, of Caldercliffe Road, Huddersfield - jailed for 17 years ("Raj")
  • Nahman Mohammed, 32, of West View, Huddersfield - jailed for 15 years ("Dracula")

Trial Two:

  • Mansoor Akhtar, 27, of Blackmoorfoot Road, Huddersfield - jailed for eight years ("Boy")
  • Wiqas Mahmud, 38, of Banks Crescent, Huddersfield - jailed for 15 years ("Vic")
  • Nasarat Hussain, 30, of Upper Mount Street, Huddersfield - jailed for 17 years ("Nurse")
  • Sajid Hussain, 33, of Grasmere Road, Huddersfield - jailed for 17 years ("Fish")
  • Mohammed Irfraz, 30, of North Road, Huddersfield - jailed for six years ("Faj")
  • Faisal Nadeem, 32, of Carr Green Lane, Huddersfield - jailed for 12 years ("Chiller")
  • Mohammed Azeem, 33, of Wrose Road, Bradford - jailed for 18 years ("Mosabella")
  • Manzoor Hassan, 38, of Bland Street, Huddersfield - jailed for five years ("Big Manny")

Trial Three:

  • Niaz Ahmed, 54, of Woodthorpe Terrace, Huddersfield - to be sentenced on November 1 ("Shaq")
  • Mohammed Imran Ibrar, 34, of Manchester Road, Huddersfield - to be sentenced on November 1 ("Bully")
  • Asif Bashir, 33, of Thornton Lodge Road, Huddersfield - to be sentenced on November 1 ("Junior")
  • Mohammed Akram, 33, of Springdale Street, Huddersfield - to be sentenced on November 1 ("Kid")
The men sentenced so far have been jailed for more than 200 years.

Trials into the abuse were conducted at Leeds Crown Court following the results of Operation Tendersea.

Some of the girls involved were as young as 11 or 12, and their stories rang similar to those told in Rochdale, Rotherham, Newcastle, Oxford, Aylsebury and Telford.

Dhaliwal, who has children of his own, was convicted of 54 separate counts, including 22 rapes, involving 11 different girls.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him: "Your treatment of these girls was inhuman.

"You treated them as commodities to be passed around for your own sexual gratification and the gratification of others.

"The extent and gravity of your offending far exceeds anything which I have previously encountered."

The trials all took place at Leeds Crown Court. Credit: PA

At the end of the first trial, the judge said: "The way you treated these girls defies understanding; this abuse was vile and wicked.

"As cases of sexual abuse with which the courts have to deal, this case comes at the top of the scale.

"None of you has expressed any remorse for what you did."

The girls, who are now all adults, told the juries how they believed they were being shown genuine affection and attention as they were groomed.

According to the judge, one of the girls said: "They got your trust and then stuff would start happening to you and it's just one of those things that you couldn't get out of, it just happened.

"My mum and dad's houses got trashed, their cars got trashed. I was constantly getting raped, beaten up."

A mother of one of the victims told ITV News she does not understand how people could inflict such cruelty. Credit: ITV News

ITV News spoke to one survivors, who was just 13 when she was targeted by the men.

She said the men made her feel "special" at first, before she was "passed around and made to feel so small".

She said her first complaint to police was lost and ignored. Unlike some of the other victims, she had a loving family and a stable home life.

Her mother told ITV News: "At the time I didn't believe anything like that would happen within my family. I didn't even understand that that type of thing was going on."

The judge noted that at least one girl attempted suicide.

One of the girls was seen being thrown out of a moving car outside her home. She had bruises all over her face and was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

A solicitor representing one of the complainants said his client was "put though a living hell" and will "carry those scars for the rest of her life".

Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: "This is one of the worst cases of child grooming and sexual abuse that I have seen.

"Our client was put through a living hell, repeatedly raped and abused by multiple men, and will carry those scars for the rest of her life."

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Mottershaw, from West Yorkshire Police praised the victims for coming forward. Credit: ITV News

Dhaliwal was jailed in June along with seven other men, who received jail sentences of between eight and 18 years.

After the second trial, which also ended in June, eight more men were given jail sentences of between five and 18 years.

Four more men were found guilty of a range of offences earlier this month following the third trial and will be sentenced on November 1.

The pattern of large-scale exploitation of mainly white girls by groups of men of mainly Pakistani heritage uncovered by West Yorkshire Police in Huddersfield mirrors what has happened in a number of other towns including Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: "These horrific crimes are sickening and, first and foremost, I commend the bravery of those who've suffered abuse in coming forward."

He added: "I've made a personal commitment to tackle child sexual abuse in all its forms and the significant investment we have provided to transform law enforcement's response is beginning to take effect.

"I am prepared to ask difficult questions about these types of offenders and I will not stop until we have done everything possible to protect vulnerable children."