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Grooming Trial: Nine Men Sentenced Over Child Sex Ring

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Nine men will be sentenced today for their part in a child sex ring which exploited vulnerable teenage girls.

The five victims, aged as young as 13, were targeted by Kabeer Hassan, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Rauf, Mohammed Sajid, Adil Khan, Abdul Qayyum, Mohammed Amin, Hamid Safi and a 59-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The 11-week trial was told that the men, who lived in Rochdale and Oldham, Greater Manchester, groomed the teenage girls because they were vulnerable.

One 13-year-old victim became pregnant and had the child aborted.

The court heard that some of the girls were raped and physically assaulted and some were forced to have sex with "several men in a day, several times a week".

The jury of three men and nine women at Liverpool Crown Court returned their verdicts on Friday and yesterday.

The 59-year-old man was found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16, two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, one count of sexual assault and an allegation of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

Aziz, 41, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Hassan, 25, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, was found guilty of conspiracy and rape.

Khan, 42, of Oswald Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Rauf, 43, of Darley Road, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Sajid, 35, of Jepheys Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy, trafficking, one count of rape and one count of sexual activity with a child.

Qayyum, 44, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy.

Amin, 45, of Falinge Road, Rochdale, was found guilty of conspiracy and sexual assault.

Safi, 22, who is awaiting deportation to Afghanistan after he was found to be living in the UK illegally, was convicted of conspiracy and trafficking but not guilty of two counts of rape.

The men will be sentenced by Judge Gerald Clifton at Liverpool Crown Court from 10.30am.

Following the convictions, Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service apologised after it emerged they had failed to bring the case of the first victim to trial following her cry for help in August 2008.

One victim said she was "let down" by police and prosecutors because the issue of Asian gangs grooming white girls was "unheard of" at the time.

The men will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court later today.

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