Six members of a West Yorkshire grooming gang have today been convicted of multiple sexual offences against young girls in Huddersfield between 2005 and 2007.
Umar Zaman, 31, of William Street, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield and Samuel Fikru, 32, of HMP Armley, have both been found guilty of two counts of rape.
Banaris Hussain, 36, of William Street, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, was also found guilty of one count of rape.
Three other men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were found guilty of 12 sexual offences including rape, rape of a child under 13, arranging the commission of a child sex offence and trafficking.
They will be sentenced on November 1.
The conclusion of the trial at Leeds Crown Court today, is part of Operation Tendersea - a police investigation into the systematic sexual exploitation of young and vulnerable girls in the Huddersfield area between 2004 and 2010.
The prosecutions are the culmination of over four years’ close collaboration between West Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The evidence, submitted to the CPS following an intensive and complex police investigation, includes hours of detailed victim evidence against a large number of potential suspects.
Michael Quinn from the CPS said: “This case involved the cynical exploitation of a number of young girls by a group of predatory men in the Huddersfield area.
“These men deliberately targeted vulnerable children. The men cynically groomed and exploited children for their own sexual gratification, drawing them into a dark and sordid world in which they had little or no control over their lives.
“Sometimes the abusers used threats and violence to achieve their objective, sometimes plying the girls with alcohol or drugs. The victims were unable to make truly free or informed choices about anything they did with these men.
“Throughout, the men cared only for themselves and viewed the girls as objects to be used and abused at will.
“At the heart of this case are the victims. They have all suffered trauma as a result of their childhood abuse. They have all shown immense courage in coming forward to assist the investigation and support the prosecution case.
“I sincerely hope the convictions of their abusers today has gone some way to helping these young women rebuild their lives. Our thoughts remain with them.”
West Yorkshire Police has praised the bravery of the victims for reporting the offences to police.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard McNamara, of Kirklees District Safeguarding Unit, said: “The sexual exploitation of children is one of society’s most depraved and heinous crimes. These individuals have purposely and repeatedly targeted and abused three vulnerable young girls for their own sexual gratification.
“Today marks an important day for these three courageous women who have stood up in court to bravely give evidence over the past few weeks. I would like to praise each of them individually for coming forward and reporting these offences to the police. An extensive investigation has been conducted by detectives over a number of years into these offences which has culminated in these perpetrators being brought to justice.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the verdicts from the jury and hope that they will be a starting point for the victims involved to start to come to terms with what has happened and start to move forward. We will also ensure that they have access specialist help and support to help them do this.”