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Men convicted of sexually abusing girl who was 'systematically groomed'

Men convicted of sexually abusing girl who was 'systematically groomed'

Eleven men have been found guilty of sexually assaulting a girl who was "systematically groomed, threatened, exploited and raped", prosecutors in the UK have said.

Sulfyan Ziarab, Yasser Kabir, Bilal Ziarab, Taukeer Hussain, Israr Ali, Nazir Khan, Saqib Younis, Hussain Sardar, Zain Ali and Faisal Khan were found guilty at Bradford Crown Court of 16 offences of raping a girl who was aged between 13 and 14 at the time, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The offences happened in Keighley, West Yorkshire, between 2011 and 2012.

An 11th man, Mohammed Akram, was found guilty of sexual activity with the same girl and Taukeer Hussain was also found guilty of one charge of raping a second girl, in 2009.

A 12th man pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of raping a child.

All the men will be sentenced on February 5.

Peter Mann, head of the Complex Casework Unit at CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "These 12 men are responsible for a wide range of crimes involving child sexual exploitation and abuse.

"Their victims were young, naive and vulnerable, and were deliberately targeted. One victim was systematically groomed, threatened, exploited and raped. A second victim was also threatened and raped by Taukeer Hussain.

"These victims have shown immense courage and bravery in reporting these matters to the police and in providing evidence to enable us to bring a strong prosecution case.

"The jury have seen through the lies the defendants told in an effort to escape justice. This case sends out a very strong message to all those who may be hesitating about coming forward to report matters such as these.

"We will not tolerate this type of abuse on our streets or in our communities. We will bring dangerous criminals who carry out acts of sexual violence against girls to justice."

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Walker, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "This has been a very challenging, complex and sensitive investigation dealing with the exploitation and abuse of two vulnerable young girls.

"Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to the victims who have shown a great deal of courage in standing up to these perpetrators, enabling them to be put before the courts. I hope that today's positive outcome will now help them to move on and create new lives for themselves.

"These young girls were preyed upon and either raped or sexually assaulted. One was even passed around by these men for no reason other than their own gratification."

Yasser Kabir, 25, of Belgrave Road, Keighley; Nazir Khan, 23, of Buxton Street, Keighley; Tauqeer Hussain, 23, of Belgrave Road, Keighley; Israr Ali, 19, of Devonshire Street West, Keighley; Hussain Sardar, 19, of Bradford Street, Lawkholme, Keighley; Saqib Younis, 29, of Bradford Street, Lawkholme, Keighley; Bilal Ziarab, 21, of Sedgwick Close, Manningham; Sufyan Ziarab, 22, of Kendal Mellor Court, Keighley; Zain Ali, 20, of Buxton Street, Keighley; Faisal Khan, 27, of Buxton Street, Keighley; and Mohammed Akram, 62, of Holker Street, Keighley denied the charges but were found guilty by a jury on Friday.

Three people - Rohail Iqbal, 22, of Skipton Road, Beechcliffe; Rohail Hussain, 18, of Hawk Street, Lawkholme; and a 17-year-old youth who cannot be named - were cleared by the jury.