Woman who groomed girls for sexual exploitation jailed

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A woman who found vulnerable victims for a Newcastle grooming gang to sexually exploit told police: "It's self-inflicted, I've got no sympathy", a court heard.

Carolann Gallon took a 13-year-old who had run away from foster care to a Tyneside flat, knowing she was likely to be the victim of a sexual offence.

She wept as she was jailed for six years and three months after admitting three counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The shaven-headed defendant, then aged around 17 but now aged 22, was obstructive with police when they made inquiries in 2012.

The next year Gallon, of Hareside Court, Newcastle, took the same girl from a children's home and took her to a series of addresses around the west end of the city.

The girl said she was given drink and drugs at flats where men flirted with her and put their arms around her.

Newcastle grooming gang
Sentences totalling more than 180 years were handed down for 17 people (Northumbria Police/PA)

She was to tell police that "sexual stuff" happened there, and that "a man had sex with her against her will", Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Gallon also invited a 14-year-old staying at another care home in the North East to a "binge", but she was stopped by police.

She rearranged the meeting, and the victim was taken to a house where she was given vodka and cannabis.

Abdul Sabe
Abdul Sabe was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to incite prostitution, trafficking for sexual exploitation and drugs offences (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Judge Penny Moreland said: "You were taking her to that house, believing she was likely to be the victim of a sexual offence."

The grooming gang tricked girls into thinking they were in a relationship, gave them drink and drugs at parties, then forced them into having sex with other men.

John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said Gallon told police after she was arrested: "They shouldn't have too much to drink. If they want to go with them, they have got their own mind to go with people. They are not some kid, they are 15 or 16.

"If they're mortal (drunk) they are going to do something, why get mortal in the first place? It's self-inflicted, I've got no sympathy."

Newcastle Crown court
Gallon was sentenced at Newcastle Crown court ( Hugh Macknight/PA)

But her barrister Uzma Khan said Gallon was herself a victim.

The judge said: "It is clear you did not have the care and support during your childhood that you should have had. You were described yourself as being a victim.

"There have been ample opportunities for you to make complaints about these matters. You have never chosen to do so. The result is your complaints have never been tested in court."

Steve Ashman
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman authorised the use of a convicted child rapist to collect evidence against the gang (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The judge said Gallon continued to "ally" herself with other defendants.

Gallon also took a girl with learning difficulties to a flat where she was raped by Abdulhamid Minoyee.

Minoyee had already sexually assaulted a heroin addict having plied her with drink, but she managed to fight him off.

Judge Moreland jailed him for 15 years, saying: "You committed two sexual offences against young women you had enticed into your home."

One remaining member of the gang will be sentenced next week.

Speaking after sentences totalling more than 180 years were handed down for 17 people at Newcastle Crown Court, Detective Superintendent Steve Barron said: "These offenders targeted these women because of their vulnerabilities.

Steve Barron
Northumbria Police Detective Superintendent Steve Barron commended the victims for their bravery in coming forward (Owen Humphreys/PA)

"They hugely underestimated their strength and determination to seek justice, they thought no-one would believe them. We believed them, as did the jury.

"I have spoken to some of these victims and they are lovely people. They have had a tough life and to then go through courts is so difficult for them. It has just been brilliant to see how their bravery is now showing justice."