‘I just froze’: Rochdale victim groomed from the age of 11 reveals how she came face to face with one of her abusers when she bumped into him in the street after his release from prison
- Shocking abuse that went on in the town portrayed in BBC drama this week
- One of the victims of the grooming has now spoken of the hell she went through
- She said she initially felt ‘accepted’ by the men, but was ‘ignored’ by police
A victim of the Rochdale child grooming gang has told how she came face to face with one of her abusers after he was released from prison.
The BBC drama Three Girls has shone a further spotlight on the scandal which unfolded in the town as a Pakistani gang groomed young girls for sex.
One of those abused by the gang spoke this morning about how the men operated and how little was done to stop them.
A victim of the Rochdale sex gangs told how she was ignored by authorities over grooming
The anonymous victim also revealed she recently came face to face with one of the gang, most of whom were jailed in 2012, after he was released from prison.
She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I bumped into one [of the men] in my hometown a few weeks ago.
‘I just froze because I was, like, what I do I do? There’s nothing I can do. I’ve brought it to court, he was sentenced and now he’s out.’
The girl, referred to as ‘Lily’, was abused from the age of 11 but only went to police when she 15.
She also told how she was ignored by authorities after being urged to report the sex gang by a sexual health worker.
She said: ‘I just felt like I was ignored like because I’d been told that this thing that had happened to me was really, really horrific but when I actually tried to report it nothing happened.
‘So that kind of made me go back to thinking, well there’s nothing wrong with what’s going on because if there was something wrong, and it was really bad, then the police would have done something.’
She was not one of the three girls whose stories were portrayed in the BBC drama, but was targeted by the same men.
The scandal received further attention this week during the airing of BBC drama Three Girls
Now 22, Lily was living in foster care following the death of her parents when she was first targeted and later abused.
She said: ‘[The gang] build the trust first and like the first kind of time I got taken into a taxi nothing happened.
‘They just took me home and give me some like fags and that to me was kind of like they are looking after me, they are trying to keep me safe. They took me off the street and brought me home.’
When asked by presenter Ben Shephard whether that was the first time she had felt like there was an adult looking after her, ‘Lily’ said: ‘Yeah, yeah I did, you know, that was the first time I kind of felt accepted, wanted, safe.’
The Rochdale grooming scandal
Twelve men were prosecuted for sex trafficking, rape, trafficking and engaging in sexual activity with a child.
The abuse occurred between 2004 and 2009 and the men were sent to trial in 2012.
Nine were convicted, of them eight were of British-Pakistani origin and one an Afghan asylum seeker. Three were not convicted.
Nine men were jailed in 2012. They included (top row left to right): Abdul Rauf, Hamid Safi, Mohammed Sajid and Abdul Aziz, and (bottom row left to right) Abdul Qayyum, Adil Khan, Mohammed Amin and Kabeer Hassan
Shabir Ahmed, 63, was the ringleader of a child sex exploitation ring, grooming girls as young as 13 for sex in Rochdale and Bolton. He was given a 19-year sentence for conspiracy, two rapes, aiding and abetting rape, sexual assault and sex trafficking.
Taxi driver Abdul Aziz, 41, was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy and nine years, concurrently, for trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Kabeer Hassan, 25, was sentenced to nine years for rape and conspiracy.
Taxi driver Abdul Huk was found guilty of sexual activity with a child and was jailed for four years.
Freddy Kendukumana, was convicted of rape and sexual activity with a minor and jailed for eight and a half years.
Roheez Khan was convicted of sexual activity with a minor and witness intimidation and jailed for 6 and a half years.
Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service came under fire for how they handled reported claims of rape and abuse and have since apologised.
Greater Manchester Police came under fire for how it handled abuse claims in the town