UK & World News
Rochdale Men Jailed For Sexually Grooming Girl
Five men who sexually exploited a 15-year-old girl in Rochdale have been jailed for a total of 26-and-a-half years.
The majority of the defendants were first arrested last year after a separate trial at Liverpool Crown Court revealed a largely Pakistani-heritage child sex ring abusing white girls in the town.
The victim, now aged 20, was described as having a "chaotic early life" who would drink to excess, take drugs, stay out late and sniff lighter fluid and self harm. She spent several years in care before returning to her mother's house where her drink and drug taking continued.
Manchester Minshull Crown Court heard that many of her abusers plied her with vodka and cannabis before committing their offences in 2008 and 2009.
Congolese refugee Freddie Kendakumana, 27, of Illminster, Rochdale, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years for rape and sexual activity with a child.
Mohammed Rafiq Abubaker, 32, of Freehold, Rochdale was jailed for two-and-a-half years for sexual activity with a child, whilst takeaway worker Roheez Khan, 27, of Ashfield Road, Rochdale, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years for sexual activity with a child and witness intimidation.
A fourth man, Chola Chansa, 33, of Illminster, Rochdale, was jailed for five years for sexual activity with a child.
Taxi driver Abdul Huk, 37, of Ouldfield Close, Rochdale, was sentenced to four years for sexual activity with a child.
Questions have been asked after it was revealed that Kendakumana had been arrested and interviewed before by Greater Manchester police (GMP).
In December 2008 the girl complained to police that she had been raped the previous month.
The girl was told at the time by an interviewing male officer to stay away from Kendakumana while the investigation continued. But Sky News understands social care and health professionals dealing with the youngster failed to pass on her other reports in 2008 and 2009 that she was having consensual sexual contact with older men whom she labelled "boyfriends".
Kendakumana was finally charged, along with his co-defendants, in October 2012 - nearly four years after the girl made the initial rape complaints as several men went on to abuse her in the intervening period.
From the end of 2008 to October 2011, the girl had undergone a total of 23 video-recorded police interviews.
The victim was first prompted to go to the police on the advice of a health support worker when she disclosed that Kendakumana was sexually forcing himself on her.
There was no suggestion that the victim had been "passed around" by the different men, although some were known to each other, the court heard.
In a victim impact statement, read out in court, she wrote: "I look back on the years I was drinking and hanging around with these men and see that this period has impacted on my education and what exams I failed to pass, this has followed into my adult life.
"I think a lot about that period of my life, I sometimes blame others like my mum, social services and the men, but I sometimes blame myself," she said.
In May last year, nine men were jailed for the systematic grooming and sexual abuse of five girls - aged between 13 and 15 - in Heywood and Rochdale. Their trial at Liverpool Crown Court resulted in a national debate over the role of gangs of largely Pakistani-heritage men in grooming white girls.
A subsequent report from child safeguarding chiefs ruled that social workers, police and prosecutors had missed opportunities to stop the exploitation in Heywood and Rochdale.
Social workers in Rochdale were criticised for their approach to dealing with underage girls who were deemed to be "making their own choices" in engaging in consensual sex.
Although the girl in the latest court proceedings was being abused at about the same time, she had no known links with any of the defendants who were jailed at Liverpool Crown Court.
The convicted men in the Manchester trials came from a range of nationalities - Kendakumana and Chansa are from Congo, Abubaker is a Kurd, while Huk and Khan are believed to be of Pakistani heritage.
Several knew each other but it was not the prosecution case that they all acted as an organised gang.
The case has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
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