I have been trying to keep up with this trial since last year. I could hardly believe when the cause list showed the jury going out, then legal submissions, then they went out again and so on for weeks. I knew there was a reporting restriction but it this was completely outside my experience. However the reporting restriction was lifted this afternoon and the local and national press have the story. From the Daily Mail the Oxford Mail and the BBC
- Assad Hussain, 37, of Iffley Road, Oxford, guilty of five counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, not guilty of one count of indecent assault.
- Kameer Iqbal, 39, of Dashwood Road, Oxford, guilty of three counts of rape.
- Khalid Hussain, 38, of Ashhurst Way, Oxford, guilty of rape and indecent assault, not guilty of one count of rape.
- Kamran Khan, 36, of Northfield Road, Bolton, guilty of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape.
- Moinul Islam, 41, of Wykeham Crescent, Oxford, guilty of rape, two counts of indecent assault and supplying cannabis, not guilty of false imprisonment.
- Raheem Ahmed, 40 of Starwort Path, Oxford, guilty of two counts of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape.
- Alladitta Yousaf, 48, of Bodley Road, Oxford, guilty of indecent assault.
(Top L-R) Khalid Hussain, Alladitta Yousaf, Kameer Iqbal, Assad Hussain (Bottom L-R) Raheem Ahmed, Moinul Islam, Kamran Khan.
Two others who stood trial, Saboor Abdul and Haji Khan, were acquitted of all charges. Two other men involved in proceedings cannot be named for legal reasons.
Those are the bare facts. I don't want to get into the realms of 'witness statement porn' (yes, there is such a thing) but it will do the public no harm to know a little of what these young girls suffered by these specimens.
The group of seven men aged between 37 and 47 were described as 'predatory and cynical' by a judge after being convicted on Friday following a five-month trial, at Oxford Crown Court. The court heard how the gang would often abuse girls aged between 13 and 15 in a 's wagon' with licence plate ending 'SHG'.
A jury of four women and seven men took a record-breaking 107 hours and 31 minutes, over the course of 24 days, to reach their verdict.
During the trial, Oxford Crown Court heard accounts from the victims, all of whom were aged between 13 and 15 at the time, who said they were plied with drink and drugs and took part in sex parties.
Opening the trial in October, Mr Saxby said: 'Each of the young girls we are dealing with shared one very important characteristic, they were vulnerable. Perfect prey for, in the main, young men prepared to exploit them for casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available.'
One girl was taken to a B&B in Iffley Road and told to have sex with older men, who one of the defendants described as "uncles", he said. Mr Saxby added: "She says she has lost count of the number of 'uncles' she had sex with... After sex she would sit in the shower and scrub herself.
During the trial one victim recounted how she would be pressured into sex at numerous locations across Oxford, between February 1998 and February 2001. She told jurors how Assad Hussain, Kameer Iqbal, Khalid Hussain and Alladitta Yousaf had all indecently assaulted or raped her on various occasions.
Another woman, who was aged 14 at the time, was sexually assaulted by Moinul Islam, the court heard, while at Cronin's B&B in Iffley Road.
In other instances of abuse the girls were plied with drink and drugs as part of what prosecutors called the 'grooming process'. They were made to take part in 'sex parties' at a number of addresses across Oxford involving large groups of men. At one such party, which took place at a flat in London, one girl said that she was forced into sex with Khalid Hussain.
A number of the woman also recalled a black Nissan Serena people carrier in which many sexual abuses are alleged to have taken place, including gang rape. One woman said of the vehicle: 'They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them. Everything happened in that Serena.' The same woman said that the men would 'take it in turns' to have sex with her and that gang rapes would take place after she was plied with booze and drugs.
Another woman told police in 2015 that she was 'mind-f*****' by the group during the ordeal of repeated rapes and sexual assaults.
The men will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court in June.
Jen L. Jones
Grooming gang convictions are coming ever more frequently now. Does this mean the authorities are starting to pay attention to the groundswell of public anger in response to what is evidently a long-existing outrage? When the powers-that-be can no longer ignore, suppress, or deflect, they are forced (ever so reluctantly it seems)to deal with this huge problem. The inevitable ramification of court cases such as this is that the images of the "Asian" grooming gangs are now forever burned onto public consciousness. How much better for all concerned if the authorities had done their jobs in the beginning with the first hint of the sexual exploitation of young British girls by gangs of mainly Muslim males. These cases are now blurring together - Rochdale, Rotherham, Telford, Newcastle, Oxford ... What's needed is some type of chart that would show numbers of victims, numbers of abusers, geographic location, timeline, court cases - ongoing, pending, and completed. And, the most salient facts of all need to be included: the ethnic and religious origins of both victims and abusers. Also, since it's now being realized that the class of the victims played a role in allowing police and social worker indifference, that should be included too. Such a panorama of documented facts would open our eyes even more.
Excellent recommendations, Jen. All of that info on a regularly updated website, cross-referenceable. How about a list of government departments and personnel (coded IDs) who were derelict in carrying out their responsibilities? How are any of these government pusbugs being punished, sued?
As you know the New English Review publishes Easy Meat by Peter McLoughlin the only work on the subject of the UK gangs. That book details the trials, defendants, towns etc up to 2014 and Peter keeps updates on his website http://www.pmclauth.com/
Jen L. Jones
Thanks Howard for your further suggestions. And thanks Esmerelda for reminding us about "Easy Meat" - a book I've been meaning to order and will do so right now. I didn't realize that Peter McLoughlin had a website that he updates. He's undertaken a monumental task there. Will follow it now for sure. What I had in mind was some type of giant info-graphic - a visual summary of the grooming phenomenon in the UK. Obviously the scale and ongoing nature of the problem appears to be outpacing the ability of any graphic representation to encapsulate it all. But for those who learn best visually it might be of value.