In the Media

Grooming convictions are 'fantastic result for British justice'

PUBLISHED May 8, 2012

Six men who groomed under-age girls for sex after plying them with alcohol, food and small sums of money, have been convicted of sex trafficking.

The defendants used a one-time victim to recruit other girls so they could be driven to "chill" houses around the north of England for sordid sex, the court heard.

The gang's activities were centred on two takeaways in Heywood, Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Both restaurants are now under different ownership.

Of the 11 defendants on trial at Liverpool Crown Court, 10 were Pakistani and the other an Afghan asylum seeker.

A 12th man, Mohammed Shazad, 39, from Rochdale, was arrested with his alleged accomplices but absconded after being released on bail. He is still on the run.

Speaking outside the court after the verdicts, Chief Supt Steve Heywood from Greater Manchester Police said that the convictions had been "a fantastic result for British justice."

He commended the victims for their "bravery" throughout their "ordeal and the long number of weeks in court where they went through a lot of trauma."

Chief Supt Heywood condemned the offenders "from the highest levels".