Rochdale child sex victims praised for courage in helping convict five abusers


Three more victims of child sexual exploitation in Rochdale have been praised for their "courage and bravery" in helping to put five men behind bars.

Each of the offenders were convicted as part of a police probe set up in the wake of the 2012 grooming scandal in the town when it emerged that a gang of Asian men had sexually preyed on white girls.

In the latest Operation Doublet prosecution, one of the three victims, aged between 14 and 16 at the time, was abused by four of the offenders - Mohammed Miah, 41, Ashafaq Yousaf, 31, Mohammed Sadeer, 28, and Joshim Miah, 32 - in separate incidents between 2004 and 2008.

Described in court as "extremely vulnerable" with a history of alcohol and drug abuse after she was effectively abandoned by her parents in her early teens, the girl came forward in 2012 to say she had had sex with up to 30 men from the age of 14.

Married father-of-four Mohammed Miah raped her on a North Wales beach after he drove her from Rochdale and threatened to leave her there if she did not meet his demands.

Convicted drug dealer Yousaf twice raped the girl including one occasion when she was too drunk to give consent.

Fellow drug dealer Sadeer attempted to rape her at a house shortly after she had been raped by up to four men in what the sentencing judge said was a "monstrous and truly dreadful ordeal".

Joshim Miah raped the girl after he drove her to a secluded spot in Rochdale.

Yousaf was also convicted of two rapes of a second teenage girl which were "characterised by appalling acts of violence".

His 14-year-old victim was a virgin when she was pushed to the ground in a local park and raped after she had gone to confront him over his bullying of her.

Later in the same year she bumped him into the same park and was raped again while being repeatedly punched, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

The attack, which was filmed on a mobile phone by a friend of Yousaf, culminated with the defendant headbutting her.

Yousaf's younger brother, Ittefaq Yousaf, 26, was convicted of inciting the same girl to engage in sexual activity and sexually assaulting another teenage girl in which he tried to kiss her and pushed her to the floor. He then pleasured himself in front of her and walked off laughing.

On Friday, Mohammed Miah, formerly of Bellshill Crescent, was jailed for 12 years, with an extended licence period of four years. The sentence runs concurrently to a 23-year jail term he received last April, as part of Operation Doublet, for the rapes of a 16-year-old girl, a 22-year-old woman and the attempted abduction of a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Ashafaq Yousaf, of Stanley Street, Rochdale, was sentenced to 19 years in prison, while his brother, Ittefaq, also of Stanley Street, was jailed for 18 months and received an additional two-month sentence for possessing and distributing an indecent image of a child.

Sadeer, of Brimrod Lane, Rochdale, was jailed for 12 years while Joshim Miah, of Yorkshire Street, Rochdale, was jailed for seven years.

Judge John Potter praised the three victims for their "courage" in giving evidence in which they were accused of telling lies or being mistaken.

Following sentencing, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Daniels said: "Tackling the sexual exploitation of children and young people is an absolute priority for Greater Manchester Police, but protecting them is the responsibility of us all.

"It is crucial that we work together to identify individuals who prey on vulnerable children and empower young people to speak up.

"Ultimately, these outcomes belong to the victims who have suffered truly awful ordeals and I cannot speak highly enough of the courage and bravery shown in coming forward and supporting the investigation."