22/06/2012

Rochdale Paedophile Ringleader Named

The ringleader of a paedophile gang in Rochdale, who groomed young white girls for sex, has been named after being found guilty of 30 separate child rape charges.

Shabir Ahmed, 59, led a child sex exploitation ring of nine men who targeted vulnerable young girls in the Rochdale and Oldham areas of Greater Manchester.

He was jailed for 19 years last month following an 11-week trial at Liverpool crown court. But Ahmed, who was known to his victims by the nickname "Daddy", could not be named at the time as he was awaiting trial on separate child rape charges.

On Thursday a jury at Manchester crown court convicted him of 30 charges of rape, and Judge Mushtaq Khokhar lifted reporting restrictions, which means he can be identified for the first time.

The court heard that he raped and sexually abused a young Asian girl over many years and that he treated her as a "possession", using her for his own sexual gratification.

Ahmed, a former takeaway driver, smirked as the jury returned the unanimous verdicts.

At the close of the Liverpool trial, Clifton dismissed the gang's claims that there was no "racial or cultural" element to their crimes.

He said "one of the factors" leading to their abuse of their victims "was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion".

The judge said some of the men claimed their arrest "was triggered by race".

But, he added: "That is nonsense. What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed."

Judge Khokhar adjourned sentencing until 2 August.

Ahmed has been banned from the court in Liverpool for his sentencing hearing because of his threatening behaviour and for calling Clifton a "racist bastard". The judge called the defendant an "unpleasant and hypocritical bully".

(H)

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