A shop worker from Wigan has failed in his bid to overturn his conviction for grooming vulnerable girls - and the lengthy jail term which followed.
Vinothan Rajenthiram, of Billinge Road, Pemberton was jailed for 14 years for sex offending at family-owned convenience stores in Birkenhead. Brother Ilavarasan was jailed for 18 and a half years for similar conduct at Liverpool Crown Court last May.
Law lords have now ruled that they were satisified Vinotham’s conviction and sentence were justified and that the punishment for Ilavarasan, 26, from Wallasey Village, should also stand.
Vinothan was convicted of one rape and eight sex assaults involving three separate girls, and one charge of perverting the course of justice. Ilavarasan was found guilty of 18 sex charges of sexual activity and sexual assault involving six girls and two offences of perverting the course of justice.
Prosecutors said the focus of their grooming activities were two shops in the Birkenhead area. Girls aged 14 and 15 were given free sweets, mobile phone top-ups and were served with cigarettes to win their trust, the court heard.
Once they had been won over, the victims were invited along for drives, or to listen to music, before they were taken back to their flats and plied with alcohol, and the abuse began. The trial judge said the girls were no doubt impressed by the attentions of older men and that they were being driven around in a BMW and Audi.
An inquiry by social services, in the wake of the court case, identified a number of missed opportunities to avert some of the offences.