UK & World News
Peterborough Child Sex Ring Members Sentenced
Victims of a child sex abuse ring have described feeling scared and vulnerable after their ordeals as five gang members were sentenced at the Old Bailey.
The men and teenagers, of Czech and Slovak Roma, and Kurdish backgrounds, raped and preyed on a total of five girls, including one with severe learning difficulties, in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, last year.
One victim was as young as 12.
The girls were forced to have sex with men for money, which was used to buy drugs and alcohol.
One of the victims, known only as girl D, said: "He controlled everything I did and I felt I could do nothing to stop him. I've lost my trust in men and don't know what I would do if they tried to touch me."
Girl E said: "I thought I love him and he made me feel special ... then he became nasty towards me ... I began to feel so low at that time I just wanted to go and jump in front of a car and die."
One of the girls' mothers also described how her once "bubbly" daughter had been transformed by the abuse.
Another victim, known as Girl A, said: "I felt upset and scared. The boys told me if I told police they would kill me and my family and I thought they would.
"I was worried people would laugh at me and wouldn't be able to understand me because of how I speak and I was embarrassed about talking.
"After I left court it felt like a long time waiting and felt like nothing was happening. I thought the boys were going to get out and get me. I am still frightened they will kill me when they get out."
Hassan Abdulla, 33, of Peterborough, was jailed for 20 years with a further five years under licence after he was convicted of four counts of rape and three counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Zdeno Mirga, 18, known as "Skinny" and considered the ringleader of the gang, was sentenced to 16 and a half years in prison after he was convicted of eight counts of rape, four charges of sexual activity with a child and one count of inciting child prostitution.
Mirga's offences related to two girls.
Renato Balog, 18, of Bretton, was jailed for 12 years after he was convicted of five rapes and three sexual assaults on three different girls.
Jan Kandrac, a 17-year-old from the Roma community, was jailed for five and a half years for rape and two counts of sexual touching.
All four have been placed on the sex offenders' register.
A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to a six-month rehabilitation order with a supervision requirement after he was convicted of sexual activity with a child.
Judge John Bevan QC called on the Home Secretary to change Kandrac's status of indefinite leave to remain and to have him deported after he has served his sentence.
He also criticised the immigrants for failing to learn English, despite having lived in the UK for up to a decade, which cost the court up to £40,000 for interpreters during their trial.
The five were convicted of a total of 26 offences in January following a trial that lasted more than two months.
Two men, aged 20 and 26, and a 14-year-old boy were cleared of 10 charges between them.
The case came to light when one of the victims, then aged 12, was taken into care and began to tell her social worker what had been happening to her.
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