Sheffield sex abuse victims praised for 'courage' in reporting prostitution gang

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Sex abuse victims have been praised for the courage they showed in helping to land members of a child prostitution ring behind bars.

Four men and one woman have been found guilty this week of a string of child sexual exploitation offences in Sheffield relating to a child prostitution ring which operated in the city.

Brothers Christopher, Matthew and Shane Whiteley, along with Amanda Spencer and Taleb Bapir were convicted of a total of 15 offences relating to five victims who were aged between 12 and 17.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the brothers and associates targeted vulnerable young girls in Sheffield between 2005 and 2011.

Their victims were plied with drink and drugs and showered with gifts, before being forced to have sex with members of the group and strangers.

They were also threatened and subjected to violence.

They have been remanded in custody and are to be sentenced next month.

Peter Mann, head of the complex casework unit at the Crown Prosecution Service for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “These defendants cynically targeted and sexually exploited young and vulnerable girls. It is hard to comprehend the magnitude of suffering they must have endured.

“The guilty verdicts returned today are a testament to the courage of the victims in coming forward and giving evidence against their abusers.

“This case was very complex and involved months of painstaking analysis. With the victims’ help the CPS was able to build a strong prosecution case against these defendants, resulting in today’s verdicts.”

Christopher Whiteley, 23, of Weakland Crescent, Hackenthorpe, was found guilty of four oral rapes, conspiracy to cause child prostitution, two sexual assaults and theft.

Shane Whiteley, 30 and Matthew Whiteley, 24, both of Weakland Crescent, Hackenthorpe, were found guilty of conspiracy to cause or incite child prostitution.

Amanda Spencer, 26, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, was found guilty of four counts of arranging child prostitution.

Taleb Bapir, 38, of Verdon Street, Neepsend, was found guilty of one count of rape.