Men jailed for sexually abusing school girl

18/07/2014

Four men from Staffordshire have today been sentenced to a total of 22 years after they were found guilty of sexually abusing a 14-year-old school girl

A fifth man was jailed for 12 months after he was found guilty of blackmailing her by purporting to have an indecent photograph of her which he threatened to send to her family unless she paid him £50.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court heard how Aness Hanif, aged 19, from Stapenhill, and three men from Burton-on-Trent - Umber Farrouq, aged 21, Junaid Ali, 20 and Matab Ali, 21, successively approached the vulnerable young victim for sex despite being aware the victim was under age and still at school. On various occasions between October 2012 and June 2013, they each abused the victim at various times and locations in and around Burton.

Ameer Arshad, 18 and from Burton-on-Trent, contacted her via social media demanding money in exchange for withholding an indecent image, though in fact no such image existed.

The victim eventually reported the abuse to the police who arrested the five men. Some of them denied having any sexual contact with the victim whilst others said they thought the victim was 16 years of age or over.

Today the defendants were jailed for the following offences:

  • Aness Hanif: five-and-a-half years for three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of casing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;
  • Umber Farrouq: five-and-a-half years for two counts of sexual activity with a child;
  • Junaid Ali: five-and-a-half years for one count of attempting to rape;
  • Matab Ali: five-and-a-half years for two counts of sexual activity with a child; and
  • Ameer Arshad: one year for one count of blackmail and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Sarah Hammond, Head of the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service Public Protection Unit, said: "These five men are sexual predators who targeted a young vulnerable girl in order to satisfy their own sexual desires.

"They exploited the victim and used her for sexual activity whenever they wanted to. The inference is that they shared information about the victim between them and then proceeded to use social media sites or mobile phones to make contact with her, groom her, and then sexually abuse her.

"Throughout this prosecution, they have all either denied having any form of sexual contact with her or that they were unaware of her true age. These were all lies which they had created in order to hide their crimes.

"We hope that this case alerts users to the possible dangers of using social media sites. Be careful to who you provide your personal details to and always remain vigilant when a stranger contacts you on social media. Treat their approach as you would do to a stranger approaching you in public, with caution and care.

"Finally, I would like to make a direct approach to anyone who is a victim of any form of abuse to come forward and not to suffer in silence. The CPS has a dedicated unit which houses lawyers who are specially trained, and who have the knowledge and experience of handling such delicate and sensitive cases involving allegations of abuse."