TWO MEN from Bradford are among 15 who have received jail sentences totalling over 160 years for sexual abuse of a vulnerable schoolgirl.
The jail terms imposed on Khalid Zaman and Mohammed Ramzan could not previously be reported in case of prejudice at a series of trials at Leeds Crown Court.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC had already jailed the pair and 11 other men for raping or abusing the same girl from Halifax when she was aged between 13 and 15 and today jailed two others for sex offences against her and another man for supplying the girl with cannabis bringing the total sentences imposed to 169 years four months.
During the trials, the court heard the schoolgirl was preyed on by as many as 100 men, the majority of them of Asian origin, during a two year period.
Some took advantage because they saw her as vulnerable, others because word got round she was available.
The prosecution described her as “lonely, needy” and seeking friendship and love, a teenager who for a long time did not understand that she was a victim of child abuse being groomed and exploited.
On occasions the court heard she sought out the men who abused her simply because she wanted to escape from her unhappy childhood and had no sense of self-preservation or worth or the danger she was putting herself in.
Michelle Colborne QC prosecuting told one trial: “Under the effects of drink or drugs she let them have sex with her or was so intoxicated she could not say No.”
“She was a child who has no memory of the first time she had sex such is the extent of the exploitation.”
Juries at four separate trials heard how the schoolgirl was 13 when her mother died after a long illness, by which time she had already got used to fending for herself, sometimes in a house with no electricity or food.
Her father subsequently formed a new relationship and moved out for a time leaving her only with a sister or home alone.
She fell into a chaotic lifestyle and was recorded as vulnerable at school when she turned up wearing makeup and was seen associating with older youths.
By February 2010, her school attendance was only 37 per cent and because of increasing concerns for her welfare the following month she was referred to social services not by her father but by the school after admitting to staff she was habitually getting drunk.
She also disclosed she was spending time with girls who were being given cannabis by Asian men and said she would cruise in cars with men at night but would not say who they were.
When months later she eventually did open up about what was going on she revealed she had starting drinking vodka at the People’s Park in Halifax at the age of 12.
In early 2011 a police officer co-ordinating missing persons in Calderdale recorded she was potentially a victim of child sexual exploitation because she kept being reported missing and returning drunk or under the influence of drugs, but would not disclose to him who was responsible for giving her them.
In spite of the attempts to help her while living with her father and his partner, she would still go missing after slipping out to meet men who she thought were her friends but who were really interested only in using her for their own sexual gratification.
In March that year as part of a risk assessment into her situation she disclosed she was drinking three to four bottles of vodka a week. She also described taking illicit substances including Mcat, cannabis, Ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines.
She said she had had a fit the previous week and believed her drink had been spiked. Throughout the hearing her mobile phone had been ringing continuously but she did not confide about her sexual life.
Days later she was found by police inebriated in the early hours of the morning and said she had consumed vodka, Sambuca, a bottle of Southern Comfort and some cocaine.
She would regularly go cruising with men in cars at night and some of those who exploited her took her to hotels where she was raped by more than one man, but still refused to talk about what was really happening.
She once rang the missing person police co-ordinator to collect her from outside a Bradford hotel but claimed to have been alone all night.
That April her father found her mobile phone had sexually explicit messages on it indicating involvement with a number of men.
Police and social workers tried once again to get her away from her molesters and she was sent to temporary foster care in another town nearby but once again she continued to go missing and stay out overnight returning hungover and sometimes with injuries and love bites.
By the time she was 15 when she was finally moved in July completely away from the Halifax area in a desperate effort to break the cycle of abuse, she tested positive for sexually transmitted disease.
It was only then, away from the influence of her abusers, that she finally began to see she had been groomed and exploited and began to open up to her foster mother and to the police about her life and who was responsible.
She described being taken to houses in Bradford as well as Halifax, to hotels in Bradford, Leeds and London and to a drug dealer’s big house in Manchester, sometimes being given money but mostly drugs and alcohol.
She identified the Campanile hotel, off the M606 in Bradford, as somewhere she had been take to for sex with men and said she was once filmed on a mobile phone being orally raped although that was later deleted.
Many of her abusers she only knew by nicknames or no name at all. Some were identified from CCTV which had been seized from the hotels she could remember, while others were caught because of DNA from stains on her clothing.
Jailing the four convicted of the most serious offences, Judge Marson described her as a deeply damaged child.