DCSIMG

Three men who groomed young girl for sex jailed for 18 years.

THREE men who groomed a vulnerable teenage girl for sex were jailed for a total of 18 years yesterday.

Mohammed Zackriya, 21, of Springfield Road, Keighley, Mohammed Taj, 37 of Broughton Road, Skipton and Mohammed Shabir (Snr), a 36-year-old, father-of-five, of Hawk Street, Keighley, were convicted of 28 sexual offences on Thursday against the girl who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Two other men, Abid Ali, 27, of Cark Road, Keighley and Raj Mohammed Shabir, 32, of Neville Street, Keighley, were cleared of all the sexual charges against them.

The jury were directed by Judge Peter Benson to return a not guilty verdict on another man, Shahid Iqbal, 25, of Nightingale Street, Keighley, half-way through proceedings.

Yesterday he jailed Zackriya for eight years, Taj for five years and Shabir for five years.

Shabir was also given an additional six month sentence for contempt of court after he ''behaved in a quite disgraceful way'' following a foul-mouthed outburst when a witness gave evidence.

All three were told they would have to sign the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely and made subject to orders restricting their association with children.

During a lengthy trial Bradford Crown Court was told that the teenager was targeted by the six men when she was aged 14 to15 because she "craved attention" before they carried out a series of cynical sexual offences.

Last night, the victim, who is now 18, said: ''I can wake up on a morning and start smiling again now. They have taken away my teenage years but they can't take away the rest of my life.

''Being in court was a horrible experience – it was like being raped and abused all over again but 10 times worse.

''I was being called a liar hour after hour, it was the worst thing I have ever had to go through – it was a nightmare and I can't believe I did it.

''But I was determined to see justice done – I had an inner strength, somehow – though there were times when I wanted to walk away.

"I think they deserve everything they got – when I was told the verdicts I was crying tears of joy. I really didn't want Maz – Mohammed Zackriya and Shabby, (Shabir), to get away with what they did to me.

''I still have nightmares about what happened to me – my parents have heard me screaming in my sleep as I shouted: 'Get off me'.''

Judge Benson lifted an order prohibiting the media from reporting how the jury were quizzed briefly over any connections they may have with the far-right British National Party before the trial started.

A concern had been expressed that BNP leader Nick Griffin's explosive claims several years ago that gangs of Asian men were grooming white girls for sex might influence their judgment.

After the trial, senior investigating officer, Det Insp Peter Martin, said: "We are very pleased with today's outcome following what has been a very long and complex investigation although we are obviously disappointed that a number of charges did not result in a conviction.

"I would like to pay tribute to the victim at the centre of this sickening crime.

"It took extreme courage for her to come forward and seek help after suffering abuse at the hands of a number of very calculating and evil men.

"The sentences go some way to redress the wrong which has been done, although the victim is still trying to come to terms with what has happened to her."

Shafaq Hussain, 21 of Midland Street, Skipton, pleaded guilty to six charges of sexual activity with the teenager and will be sentenced at a later date.

 
 
 

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