15 MEN have been jailed for a total of 160 years for the horrific sexual abuse of a vulnerable schoolgirl from Halifax.
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, Leeds Crown 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 Feb 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.
In 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 Camponile hotel 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 Geoffrey Marson QC described her as a deeply damaged child.
“She was given alcohol, drugs and money for sex. There was no love, no affection, no care. She was taken advantage of when she was drunk and under the influence of drugs,” he said.
She did not remember the first time she had sex but believed she had been with over 100 men between the age of 13 and 15. “Often more than one a day and once about 19 men.”
She was subjected to humiliation and degradation “at the hands of men who used and abused her for their own sexual gratification. It must have been obvious to anyone who came into contact with her that she was particularly vulnerable.”
He said she had been plied with drink and drugs. “She was sometimes in such a state of intoxication she was incapable of consenting to any form of sexual activity and that would have been obvious to anyone in her company.”
She contracted gonorrhoea as a result of her lifestyle, suffers flashbacks of what was done to her and has been diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.
“She has been removed away from home and family on a permanent bases. Psychological damage in this case is about as bad as it gets. She will carry this abuse with her for the rest of her life.”
He said they were not her only abusers but each man bore some responsibility for the damage inflicted “and not one of you has shown the slightest remorse for what you did.”
Those jailed for abusing her included Heder Ali from Cheshire sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted on two charges of rape and two of trafficking her for sexual exploitation.
Now 36, with a previous conviction for sexual assault he took her to the Park Hotel in Bradford in the summer of 2011 where she was given alcohol and drugs. “Knowing she was incapable of giving consent you raped her, you took her there knowing not only you would have intercourse with her but other men would.”
“It was gross abuse, she was incapacitated by drink and drugs, you knew it and knew how vulnerable she was,” said Judge Marson.
Haider Ali, now 41, from Halifax was jailed for a total of 20 years after he was found guilty of sexual activity with a child and causing another person to engage in sexual activity with her without consent.
He was 19 years older than the victim when he took her to a flat in Bradford where she said she had sex with him on a sofa after she was given a sachet of some substance which “crackled” in her mouth as well as some drinks which made her feel unwell.
Judge Marson said: “Having abused her yourself you then pinned her against the wall and told her she had to sleep with another man as payment for use of the flat and told her if she did not sleep with him she would not get a lift home.”
He said she had no money to get home herself. “You said she was not leaving until she had slept with him. That other man, whose identity has not been sufficiently ascertained was standing next to you at the time and had a smile on his face.”
“She said she did not want to sleep with him, he took her into a bedroom, locked the door, pinned her arms above her head and raped her.” The court heard he did not wear a condom.
Mohammed Ramzan, 35, from Bradford was jailed for 15 years after he was found guilty of oral rape.
The jury heard he took the schoolgirl to a shop to buy vodka before booking a room in the Campanile hotel in Bradford leaving her in the car while he did that so no one would suspect she was under age.
In the room she drank vodka and took cocaine and after she refused to perform oral sex on him he rang some friends to join him. “While they were there and she was drunk you raped her orally while one of the others recorded it on a telephone.”
The judge said it was later deleted “but you knowing it was being recorded continued with the sexual abuse. You subjected her to that humiliation and degradation in front of others and having achieved your own sexual gratification you left her there.”
Khalid Zaman, 37 from Bradford, was jailed for 17 and a half years after he was convicted on two charges of rape and supplying the girl with Mcat.
He witnessed her being raped by Ramzan, and then raped her himself after she became so incapable having taken more cocaine and alcohol, that she had no recollection of it.
“When you had finished with her you simply left her there in that hotel room. You had no feelings or concern for her.”
Two other men were cleared on the direction of the judge at the end of the third trial. Ataf Ali, 33, and Mohammed Askar, 33, were both found not guilty by the jury of conspiring to engage in sexual activity with a child. The jury also cleared a third man Mohammed Janjuha, 35, on a charge of rape.