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Twelve men were initially charged with sex trafficking and other offences including rape, trafficking girls for sex and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.Nine men convicted, of whom eight were of British Pakistani origin and one was an Afghan asylum-seeker; of the three not convicted, one was cleared of all charges, the jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of the second, and the third was not present at the trial after fleeing to Pakistan while on bail.
One victim, a 15-year-old known as the Honey Monster, acted as a recruiter, procuring girls as young as 13 for the gang.The alleged offences that took place in Rochdale between 20 included rape, conspiracy to rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child, and sexual assault.Suggestions emerged that police and social work departments failed to act when details of the gang emerged for fear of appearing racist, and vulnerable white teenagers being groomed by Pakistani men were ignored.Some gang members told the court the girls were willing participants and happy having sex with the men.The ring-leader, 59-year-old Shabir Ahmed, claimed the girls were "prostitutes" who had been running a "business empire" and it was all "white lies". You have only got my kind here." received the longest sentence, 19 years for rape, aiding and abetting a rape, sexual assault, trafficking for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children.Another five-year sentence was given to Abdul Qayyum for conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children while Hamid Safi received four years for trafficking for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children.
Following the break up of the first sex ring in May 2012, the police made arrests in relation to another child sexual exploitation ring in Rochdale.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said that about 550 officers were working on Operation Doublet in May 2013.
He said the investigation was at "an extremely sensitive stage" and street grooming was the force's top priority, "a bigger priority than gun crime".
He said the investigation was looking at cases in Rochdale dating back to 2003.
In March 2015, ten men aged between 26 and 45 were charged with serious sex offences against seven females aged between 13 and 23 at the time.
After members of the Rochdale gang were sentenced, the UK's Department of Education announced new funding for a specialist foster care scheme to protect vulnerable children in residential care, where some victims had been.