Six jailed for Leicester sexual exploitation case

30/08/2013

Six Leicester men have been jailed for sexually exploiting a young, vulnerable girl, offences described by CPS East Midlands Chief Crown Prosecutor Steve Chappell as having taken place with 'no thought for the victim’s age or circumstances'.

Aabidali Mubarak Ali, Rakib Iacub and Wajid Usman pleaded guilty during their trial in July to a total of seven counts of paying for the sexual services of a child and facilitating child prostitution. They were sentenced to five, three and two years respectively. Hamza Imtiazali, Bharat Modhwadia and Chandresh Mistry pleaded guilty to a range of similar charges at an earlier hearing. They were sentenced to two years, 16 months and eight months respectively.

All six defendants had paid a single victim under the age of 18 with a troubled domestic background for sexual services and had arranged for others to exploit her in the same way.

Police investigators were able to build a relationship with her, and she reported what had happened to her and who was responsible.

The evidence was passed to specialist lawyers at CPS East Midlands, who prepared a case against the perpetrators of the abuse. Mistry pleaded guilty to his offence at an early stage and Imtiazali and Modhwadia pleaded guilty at a plea and case management hearing in April.

The case against the remaining defendants went to court for a trial on 29 July. The case was opened and the scale of offending was put before the court. Only after the victim's video evidence had been shown to the jury and she had made it clear that she was going to give evidence in court did the defendants offer guilty pleas to some of the counts against them. After consultation with the victim, these pleas were accepted and the other counts were left to lie on file, thus ending the trial and removing the need for the victim to give evidence in person and be cross-examined by the defence.

Steve Chappell, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East Midlands said: "These six men have exploited a vulnerable girl for their own selfish gratification with no thought about her age or circumstances. Crimes like these degrade young women and rob them of their dignity and self-esteem.

"However, thanks to the courage of the victim in this case in taking her complaint to the authorities and being willing to give her evidence in court, all six have been convicted of these offences. It is a relief that the three defendants who decided to take the case to trial eventually admitted their guilt before the victim had to relive her ordeal in court.

"I would urge any victims of sexual abuse of any kind to come forward and tell us what has happened. When this is reported, only then can the police put a stop to the abuse and we at the CPS can ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice."

The victim in this case was supported by the CPS, Leicestershire Police and the courts in giving her evidence. The Prosecution applied successfully for special measures to help her give her best evidence in court. Had she been required to give evidence, members of the public would have been required to leave the court room.