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Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

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Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Five men jailed for sexual exploitation of girls in Rochdale


Five men from Rochdale have today (Feb 17) been jailed for serious sexual offences committed against three teenage girls between 2004 and 2008.

The men were convicted of a total of nine offences of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault following a trial at Minshull Street Crown Court last year. This was the third major trial from Operation Doublet, an investigation into child sexual exploitation in the Rochdale area. All of the defendants and the victims were living in the Rochdale area at the time.

Alison Cartmell, from the CPS, said: "The victims in this case were children when they were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation and violence. They have shown real courage in coming forward and giving evidence. The guilty verdicts would not have been possible without their bravery and determination and we want to thank them for that.

"The defendants exploited their youth, immaturity and vulnerability for their own sexual gratification. When the girls resisted or objected to what was happening they were subjected to coercion, threats and violence. The men denied all the charges and tried to claim the victims were lying, that either the sexual activity had not taken place or was consensual.

"The jury having heard the evidence found them guilty of these very serious offences and they have today been sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for their crimes."


One of the victims was sexually exploited by four of the defendants: Joshim Miah, Ashfaq Yousaf, Mohammed Sadeer and Mohammed Miah. She was aged between 14 and 16 when the majority of the sexual abuse took place and was living in a children's home for some of the time. A number of the defendants plied her with alcohol until she was very drunk and incapable of giving consent before sexually abusing her. She felt intimated by them and was coerced and threatened into having sex.

Ashfaq Yousaf was convicted of offences against this victim and against a second victim, whom he subjected to two violent physical and sexual attacks in Falinge Park, Rochdale, when she was just 14 and 15. His brother, Ittefaq Yousaf, was also convicted of inciting this second victim to engage in sexual activity and was convicted of a sexual offence against another victim in the same Rochdale park.


Notes to Editors

  1. Alison Cartmell is Senior Crown Prosecutor from the Complex Casework Unit, CPS North West

  2. Sentences:
    • Joshim Miah sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for one offence of rape.
    • Ashfaq Yousaf sentenced to 19 years' imprisonment for four offences of rape.
    • Ittefaq Yousaf sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for one offence of causing/inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one offence of sexual assault
    • Mohammed Sadeer sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for one offence of attempted rape
    • Mohammed Miah sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment (four years on licence) for one offence of rape
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