Opinion: Brave victim needs support

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The guilty verdict of milkshake shop owner Rassam Ali for forcing a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him should provide encouragement to victims of child sex exploitation.

For too long their voices went unheard, leading to scandals such as the one in Rotherham, which has been widely reported in these pages.

Ali now awaits sentencing for his crime and must severely regret his actions.

Thankfully, his victim was brave enough to come forward and it is she who our thoughts will be with as she tries to rebuild her life and hopefully put the episode behind her with the help of family and friends.

The conviction should also further reinforce that there are no grey areas in the law.

Any adult has a responsibility of ensuring the safety of a child under the age of consent.

It seems ridiculous that adults need to be reminded of their responsibilities but unfortunately this has to be said.

The law is very clear about what is right and wrong in this area.

Children’s innocence needs to be protected from the likes of Ali.

The 24-year-old took advantage of this young girl for his own enjoyment and will now be punished accordingly.

* Read more: Dessert bar owner guilty of sex act with 14 year old girl