Victims of a child prostitution ring in Sheffield have been praised for their bravery in giving evidence against their attackers.
Four men and a woman involved in a child prostitution ring that saw young girls pimped out to as many as 50 men have been found guilty of a string of offences today.
They are to be sentenced next month.
Speaking after their convictions, Jayne Ludlam, Executive Director of Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “Today I want to commend the bravery of the young women involved in this case, who spoke out against the exploitation that they suffered and then had to re-live it all again in court.
"It sends a clear message to anyone involved in the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young people- you will be identified, pursued and prosecuted.
“Their testimonies and courage will have helped to prevent other young people suffering similar abuses and we are grateful for this.
“Here in Sheffield we are not afraid to tackle child sexual exploitation. We will now, as we always do, in cases such as this, review the way we work, and continue improving and developing our services.
“We will continue to work with partner agencies such as South Yorkshire Police, as well as parents, carers and young people in our fight to prevent sexual exploitation being perpetrated against children and young people.
“Our absolute priority, though, will be to continue to work and support those affected by this case.
“We would encourage anyone affected by abuse such as this to report it. We will support you throughout and do our utmost to bring those responsible to justice.”
Brothers Christopher Whiteley, aged 23, Matthew Whiteley, 24 and Shane Whiteley, 30, all of Weakland Crescent, Hackenthorpe, were all involved in the child prostitution ring.
Christopher was found guilty of four counts of oral rape, conspiracy to cause or incite child prostitution, two charges of sexual assault and one charge of theft.
Shane and Matthew were both 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.