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  1. ITV Report

Child exploitation uncovered in Bristol

Reconstruction of Operation Brooke victim's story (played by actress) Photo: ITV News

Two groups of Somali men have been found guilty of grooming and sexually exploiting under-age girls in Bristol.

It follows Operation Brooke, the largest investigation into child sexual exploitation in Avon and Somerset Police’s history.

In two separate trials, 13 men were found guilty of charges including rape, paying for sex with a child, and arranging for that sex to happen.

In total, there were six victims. The youngest was just 13 years old and lived at home with her mother.

Operation Brooke One:

Six men were convicted in the first ‘Operation Brooke’ trial this summer. The media is only now able to report its details after court restrictions were lifted.

The jury heard how a 16-year-old girl from outside Bristol was placed in the Easton area of the city by her home-town’s social services team and a housing provider.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had a history of drug-taking and prostitution. Easton has some of the highest rates for prostitution and drug dealing in the West Country.

Within two days she had met Liban Abdi who has the street-name Leftback and Mustafa Farah who is known as Greens. She started having sex with these men in return for drugs.

Liban Abdi Credit: Avon & Somerset Police
Mustafa Farah Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

The victim told the court:

I only had one social worker and she visited me twice. The whole time I lived in Bristol, she didn't come into my property. I relied on the Somalians (sic) more than I relied on the support workers and social workers, if you know what I mean, I had no support at all really.

"Half the time I didn't really want it (sex) for the money. I just wanted someone to be there. Even though they were using me for sex, sometimes it's nice to be close to someone.

– Operation Brooke victim

That council told ITV News that the girl was very vulnerable. But she turned 17 during her time here. She was an adult. They tried to find her alternative accommodation, but she refused and said she liked it here. And if they moved her, she would simply run away, and social workers would lose all contact with her.

One man, drug dealer Abdulahi Aden, who has the nickname Trigger, was convicted of raping the victim’s 14-year-old sister, who had come to stay in Easton. The court heard the 14-year-old was found hiding in a cupboard under the kitchen sink by officers visiting the flat after she had been reported missing.

Abdulahi Aden Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

A Serious Case Review has begun – led by Bristol City Council, which had no responsibility for the girls, and the victims’ home local authority – which we cannot name for legal reasons.

These victims were subjected to appalling, abhorrent offences. And I've been humbled by the bravery that they've shown. They have taken the courageous step to disclose the horrendous offences that have been committed against them. And they've shown the courage to give evidence in court.

Nobody could underestimate how difficult it's been to do that. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to each one of them for showing the courage. Because their evidence has allowed their abusers to be brought to justice.

– Detective Superintendent Julian Moss, Avon and Somerset Police

Aden and his friend Mustafa Deria were convicted of rape. Abdi, Farah and an accomplice Arafat Osman were convicted of paying for sex with a child.

A sixth man, Idleh Osman, was convicted of arranging for the sexual services of a child.

They are serving sentences totalling more than 70 years in prison.

Operation Brooke Two:

Four schoolgirls were targeted by a group of Somali men. Each of the victims was eventually raped. None of the girls was in care – they each lived at home.

One of the victims, a 14-year-old, was persuaded to have sex with three of the groomer, Mohamed Jumale’s, friends because she was told it was ‘a Somali custom’ to pass girls around between friends.

Mohamed Jumale Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

The ‘groomer in chief’ was Mohamed Jumale, who had the street-name Dec, from Eastville in Bristol.

He met one girl, known as Victim One when she was just 13. He approached her through Facebook then Blackberry Messenger. He was 22 but told the victim he was 16 so he appeared to be a similar age.

He told her he needed her to have sex with his brother Omar, and two other men.

He asked me to have sex with his friends. He said it was his tradition and that they always do it. That they always have girlfriends and then have sex with each other's girlfriends.”

– "Victim One"

This happened at a cycle bridge near Muller Road in Eastville.

At the same time, Dec was also grooming another girl known as Victim Two. He raped her in a bedroom of a house he shared in Heath Street, Eastville.

Said Zakaria Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

By December 2012, Victim One was in a relationship with a second Somaliman, Said Zakaria, AKA Target.

The court heard on a Friday night in that month she was raped by a man in a block of flats in Barton Hill.

Target then took her to a hotel in the city centre. There, in a room, he raped her twice himself.

Jusuf Abdirizak Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Afterwards she was raped by the man who had booked the room. His name was Jusuf Abdirizak and had the street-name Starns.

Social Services were called in. The police too. What followed was the largest investigation into Child Sexual Exploitation Offences in Avon and Somerset Police’s history.

Dec was convicted of rape and seven counts of having sex with a child. Target was convicted of two counts of rape and a trafficking charge.

Other offenders convicted of rape in Brooke Two were Jusuf Abdirizak, Abdirashid Abdulahi and Sakariah Sheikh.

Other convictions included: Dec’s brother Omar Jumale, who was found guilty of having sex with a child, and Mohammed Dahir, who was convicted of causing child prostitution.