Men jailed for total of 63 years for sex attacks on Rotherham girls 'who just wanted to be loved'
Five men who sexually abused Rotherham girls over a decade ago have been jailed for a total of 63 years today as their pasts caught up with them.
The men received prison sentences of between four and 24 years at Sheffield Crown Court after being found guilty following a trial, during which jurors heard they preyed on vulnerable girls who wanted to be loved.
Aftab Hussain, 40, was jailed for 24 years and Abid Saddiq, 38, was jailed for 20 years by a judge who described him as a ‘cunning and determined sexual predator’.
Masaued Malik, 35, was jailed for five years; Sharaz Hussain, 35, was jailed for four years and another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for 10 years.
They were prosecuted after an investigation as part of Operation Stovewood - the massive National Crime Agency probe into the sexual exploitation of teenagers in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
A total of 20 men have now been convicted as a result of the operation, which was launched after an independent report found that 1,400 children were sexually exploited and abused over a 16 year period by men of predominantly Pakistani heritage while those in authority failed to act.
The number of victims is now believed to be over 1,500.
Masaued Malik, Aftab Hussain, Abid Saddiq and Sharaz Hussain and one man, who is unable to be identified, were sentenced today at Sheffield Crown Court while two others are to be sentenced at a later date.
They abused seven girls, who were all under the age of 16, between 1998 and 2002.
The NCA said the girls ‘were all vulnerable and craving attention and love’ and were ‘deliberately targeted for the sole purpose of becoming sexual objects for the men’.
The NCA said: “At the time, none of them had the maturity to understand they were being groomed and exploited, believing that sex was some kind of ‘necessary price’ for friendship.
“They were given alcohol and drugs, belittled and passed around to other men for their gratification, and were vulnerable because of their need to be loved. All seven suffer the emotional effects of the abuse to this day.”
The attackers were said to have often acted ‘as a group’ and were ‘happy to share girls around amongst each other’.