Rape gang jailed for 221 years for abusing vulnerable teenage girls in Huddersfield

Rape gang jailed for 221 years for abusing vulnerable teenage girls in Huddersfield
Rape gang jailed for 221 years for abusing vulnerable teenage girls in Huddersfield

A gang of men who embarked on a "campaign of rape and other sexual abuse" against vulnerable teenage girls in Huddersfield has been given lengthy jail sentences, it can now be reported.

Ringleader Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, was jailed for life earlier this year and told he must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison by a judge who said: "Your treatment of these girls was inhuman."

Dhaliwal is one of 20 men who have been found guilty of scores of offences in a series of trials at Leeds Crown Court.

"The extent and gravity of your offending far exceeds anything which I have previously encountered.

Fifteen women told juries what happened to them between 2004 and 2011 when they were aged between 11 and 17.

Those already sentenced have received prison terms totalling 221 years.

The series of three trials has been subject to a blanket reporting ban which was partially lifted on Friday.

It was towards the end of the second of these trials, in May, that English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson was arrested as he reported about the case live on Facebook from outside the court.

Robinson was jailed for contempt of court but his conviction was later quashed and the case is due to be heard again at the Old Bailey next week.

Dhaliwal, who has children of his own, was convicted of 54 separate counts, including 22 rapes, involving 11 girls.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him earlier this year: "You treated them as commodities to be passed around for your own sexual gratification and the gratification of others.

"The extent and gravity of your offending far exceeds anything which I have previously encountered.

"It was a very significant campaign of rape and other sexual abuse.

"Children's lives have been ruined and families profoundly affected by seeing their children, over months and years, out of control, having been groomed by you and other members of your gang."

The girls, who are now all adults, told the juries how they believed they were being shown genuine affection and attention as they were groomed in Huddersfield.

But Judge Marson told the men this was "deliberately created to enable predatory men such as you to perpetrate gross sexual abuse for your own perverted gratification".

According to the judge, one of the girls said: "They got your trust and then stuff would start happening to you and it's just one of those things that you couldn't get out of, it just happened.

"My mum and dad's houses got trashed, their cars got trashed. I was constantly getting raped, beaten up."

The judge noted that at least one girl attempted suicide.

One of the girls was seen being thrown out of a moving car outside her home. She had bruises all over her face and was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Judge Marson said at the end of the first trial: "The way you treated these girls defies understanding; this abuse was vile and wicked.

"As cases of sexual abuse with which the courts have to deal, this case comes at the top of the scale.

"None of you has expressed any remorse for what you did."

He added: "The sentences I pass on you are severe and are intended to be so. They are intended to deter others from behaving in this way."

Dhaliwal, of Holly Road, Huddersfield, was jailed in June along with seven other men, who received jail sentences of between eight and 18 years.

After the second trial, which also ended in June, eight more men were given jail sentences of between five and 18 years.

Four more men were found guilty of a range of offences earlier this month following the third trial and will be sentenced on November 1.

The men referred to each other using a series of nicknames which were also used as their monikers during the trials.

They included "Beastie", "Dracula" and "Nurse".

The pattern of large-scale exploitation of mainly white girls by groups of men of mainly Pakistani heritage uncovered by West Yorkshire Police in Huddersfield mirrors what has happened in a number of other towns including Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford.

The restriction which banned reporting of the Huddersfield trials was lifted by the Recorder of Leeds Judge Guy Kearl QC following representations by a number of media organisations, including the Press Association.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: "These horrific crimes are sickening and, first and foremost, I commend the bravery of those who've suffered abuse in coming forward."

He added: "I've made a personal commitment to tackle child sexual abuse in all its forms and the significant investment we have provided to transform law enforcement's response is beginning to take effect.

"I am prepared to ask difficult questions about these types of offenders and I will not stop until we have done everything possible to protect vulnerable children."