Child sex abuse victims in Rotherham have been urged to come forward and report offences after eight men were found guilty of the sexual exploitation of three girls over a four year period.
The men, including two brothers and two of their cousins, were found guilty of 19 sexual offences against three teenage girls in Rotherham between 1999 and 2003.
They were found guilty of charges of rape, indecent assault and false imprisonment and are to be sentenced on November 4.
Yesterday's verdicts came after a trial in which it emerged that victims were 'targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to attacks of a degrading and violent nature at the hands of these men'.
Leader of Rotherham Council, Councillor Chris Read, said: “Today has been a long time coming. We have seen justice done for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and their families. Their courage, patience and determination should inspire all of us.
“The way that we respond to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has changed. It will continue to change to meet new and developing challenges.
"We know there is still a long road ahead with more work to be done, but this verdict today is clear evidence of the progress being made in tackling the scourge of those who abuse our children. We can and we are meeting our challenges with greater confidence.
“We will all continue to work together to keep our children safe, and to root out such horrific abuse wherever we find it, and whoever perpetrates it.”
Ian Thomas, Rotherham Council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services, added: “Today is about seeing justice for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation here in Rotherham.
"This isn’t about putting right the wrongs of the past, but about making sure the failings are never repeated.
"Over the last two years we have worked hard as part of a multi-agency approach to provide the support these women and their families deserve now and in the future. And today’s verdict shows just what can be achieved and is another step in the right direction for us.
“Today sends a clear message that the way we respond to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham is very different to the past. I sincerely hope today’s ruling will serve to give hope to other victims and survivors of abuse – justice can and will be done, and I would urge them to please come forward and seek help.”
Sageer Hussain, aged 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of four rapes and one indecent assault.
Mohammed Whied, 32, of Psalters Lane, Rotherham, was convicted of aiding and abetting rape.
Ishtiaq Khaliq, 33, of Carlisle Road, Rotherham, was convicted of one rape and three indecent assaults.
Waleed Ali, 34, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, was convicted of one rape and one indecent assault.
Asif Ali, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of rape.
Masoued Malik, 32, of Bridgewater Way, Rotherham, was found guilty of rape, conspiracy to commit indecent assault and false imprisonment.
Basharat Hussain, 40, from Goole, was convicted of indecent assault.
Naeem Rafiq, 33, of Clarenden Road, Rotherham, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment.