Gang guilty after vulnerable girls exploited and abused in Newcastle

From L-R: Asad Ribas, Azisi Soran, Obaid Saman and Pour Palla Credit: Northumbria Police

Four men are facing prison sentences after vulnerable women and girls were abused after being exploited and trafficked.

Newcastle Crown Court was told how victims, some as young as 13, were lured to parties where alcohol and drugs were freely available, before being expected to provide sexual favours and services in return.

The court heard that some of the sexual acts were carried out consensually by the victims in return for "rewards" of drink and drugs.

But prosecutor Anne Richardson told the court the victims were "forced" atother times, or were so intoxicated they were unable to consent to whathappened to them.

She added the women and girls were treated as "commodities" and passed around various men, sometimes believing they were in relationships with their abusers.

After a month-long trial, four men were convicted on Friday of offencesincluding sexual assault, trafficking and drugs supply:

  • Soran Azizi, 28, of Whickham Street, Byker, has been convicted of two offences of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

  • Palla Pour, 25, of West Farm Wyne, Longbenton, has been convicted of four offences of sexual activity with a child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, supplying controlled drug to another and permitting his premises to be used for the supply of drugs.

  • Ribas Asad, 29, of Cruddas Park, Newcastle, has been convicted of sexual assault, paying for the sexual, supplying a controlled drug, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual activity with a child.

  • Saman Obaid, 26, of Felton Walk, Byker, was convicted of four offences of supplying controlled drugs.

The latest court case joins the many which have taken place as part of Operation Sanctuary; one of Northumbria Police's biggest operations of its kind looking at the sexual exploitation of children and vulnerable young women across the region.

Northumbria Police welcomed today's guilty verdict.

All four men will be sentenced on October 30 and have been remanded in custody.