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Vulnerable girls as young as 13 'passed around' Bristol sex ring

Victims as young as 13 were preyed upon, sexually abused and passed around the men's friends for money as part of a sex ring orchestrated by 13 Somali men in Bristol.

Several of the girls were groomed to the extent they believed abuse was part of loving relationships they were having with the defendants.

Some were persuaded to have sex with their 'boyfriend's' friends as it was Somali "culture and tradition" and "men always have sex with each other's girlfriends".

The victims, described as "vulnerable" due to their age and circumstances, were paid as little as £30 or given drugs, alcohol and gifts to perform sex acts on older men.

The men were found guilty at Bristol Crown Court. Credit: PA

Avon and Somerset Police uncovered a two-year catalogue of abuse against 10 girls during their investigation into the Somali men, codenamed Operation Brooke. A total of 14 were convicted of charges including rape, sexual activity with a child, facilitating child prostitution, trafficking, paying for the sexual services of a child and drug offences.

Eight of the defendants were jailed for between 18 months and 13 years this summer. The remaining seven, convicted by a jury yesterday following 32 hours and 17 minutes of deliberations, will be sentenced at the court tomorrow.

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