Paul Sims, The Sun, February 8, 2016
A gang of Asian paedophiles who beat and raped a white girl of 13 was jailed yesterday for a total of 143 years.
The terrified victim was repeatedly abused at various locations for over a year–despite being reported missing to cops 71 times.
They ignored her family’s desperate pleas for help and instead told her anxious mum to keep a diary of her movements.
The girl was finally taken into care and the gang arrested.
But ringleader, Arif Chowdhury, 20, fled Keighley, West Yorks, and flew to Bangladesh with his dad after being released on bail.
Cops are still trying to locate him, but no one has ever been successfully extradited back to the UK from Bangladesh.
Victims support groups claimed police failed to act over fears of being accused of racism.
David Hines, of the National Victims’ Association, likened it to incidents in Rochdale and Rotherham–where up to 1,400 girls were abused by Asian paedos.
He claimed: “I’m sure police heard the alarm bells. They just decided to ignore the noise.
“The Government has to get a handle on this. It can’t carry on.”
Tory MP Kris Hopkins, who represents Keighley, said: “I’m well aware there are numerous white paedophiles and they should be dealt with just as harshly.
“But the sick model of organised groups of Asian men grooming young white girls to be sexually abused remains a blight at the heart of many communities across this country. And sadly Keighley is at the top of the list.”
Chowdhury first groomed the girl by persuading her to start running drugs for him.
He then pimped her out to pals amid the threat of violence if she refused and often watched as they took turns to rape her.
On one occasion she was raped by five different Asian men in a secluded lane. In a disused car park beneath a former police station they scrawled her name on the wall of a parking bay–and dubbed it “her corner”.
The girl was well known to the police and social services.
Prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC told Bradford crown court that officers first spoke to her in April 2011 following frequent reports of her going missing.
She denied that she was spending time with Asian men.
Mrs Colborne said: “The following morning the PC spoke to her in the absence of her family and she said she wasn’t getting on with her mum.
“She said she was being picked on at school and her mother had started calling her a P**i shagger.
“She was smelly, as were her clothes. She was in a vulnerable state emotionally.”
A month later the girl was raped behind a church by Chowdhury–her first sexual experience.
The girl’s mum reported the attack but withdrew the allegation amid fears of reprisals.
Police advised her to keep a diary of her child’s movements and told her to stop hanging around with older Asian men.
The girl continued to go missing through the year and this continued after she moved in with her gran following the breakdown of her relationship with her mum. When the girl told social workers Chowdhury had taken two of her phones it should have rung alarm bells with officials, the court heard. But again, nothing was done.
When she was eventually taken into care in May 2012 she confided in trained staff and named her abusers. One of Chowdhury’s 11-strong gang later boasted to cops: “She groomed herself.”
In a victim impact statement, the girl, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, said: “My perception of what a normal relationship is is warped. I have struggled to remain in control of my emotions and life in general.
“I have also had many physical effects. I was assaulted and punched and kicked and these hurt when I am tired. The court process has been very difficult.”
Ten of Chowdhury’s henchmen were found guilty of rape and indecent assault by a jury after a trial in December.
An 11th, Khalid Raja Mahmood, 34, had admitted two counts of rape and three counts of sexual activity with a child. He is serving six-and-a-half years for raping a woman of 43 and false imprisonment of a child, and was given a 17-year extended sentence.
Tauqeer Hussain, 23, was also found guilty of raping another girl, who was aged 14, and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
‘They showed her no shred of humanity’
Taxi driver Mohammed Akram, 63, who was not part of the gang, was jailed for five years for sexual activity with a child. Jailing Chowdhury’s vile crew yesterday, Judge Roger Thomas QC said they had shown “contempt, disrespect and arrogance” on a scale he had never seen in his 40-year career.
He added: “None of these defendants had any concern for the victim. They saw her as a pathetic figure who served no purpose than to be an object that they could sexually misuse and cast aside. They showed no shred of humanity when, as a vulnerable child, she so needed care.”
Chowdhury’s group is the latest Asian paedophile gang to be locked up in England. Five men were jailed for life in Oxford for torturing and abusing white girls aged as young as 11.
A further nine men aged 24 to 59 were caged in Rochdale, Gtr Manchester, for abusing dozens of girls, while a gang of seven in Telford, Shropshire, was jailed.
A similar scandal took place in Derby while a probe looking at up to 300 suspects in Rotherham, South Yorks, is ongoing.
The CPS praised the bravery of the two girls who came forward in Keighley, and said: “We will bring criminals who carry out sexual violence against girls to justice.”
The gang’s ringleader fled to Bangladesh after getting bail and has boasted: “I’m having the time of my life.”
Arif Chowdhury, 20, caught a plane with his dad days after being quizzed by cops in 2012.
The Sun revealed how he called home to tell proud aunt Rashona Begum, 38, he was living a dream.
She said: “Everywhere he looks there is green landscapes, blue skies and the ocean. It’s like heaven. He has a life there now and he’s really enjoying it.”
Rashona, from Newcastle, said Chowdhury was “on holiday” and “learning the meaning of life”.
She said: “He is doing really well. Before, he was using the f-word all of the time, but not anymore.
“I told him to stay there. He’s really happy. He’s a different person now.”
But the drug dealer has been taunting cops on a Facebook profile he set up. He sneered in one message: “Love is a game and life is pain. My life is thug life topshotta gangsta mamzy.”
West Yorkshire Police said: “One individual is outstanding. Enquiries are ongoing to trace him.”
‘2 to tango’ fury
A councillor sparked outrage yesterday after he appeared to dismiss the Keighley sex scandal–and claimed: “It takes two to tango.”
Councillor Zafar Ali said he did not condone the abuse of white girls by Asian men–but claimed the gang had “got the wrong end of the stick”.
He said: “The grooming itself is totally out of proportion, we don’t condone that.
“As a a Muslim, living here for 52 years, I can tell you that no no-one does, it is categorically not Islamic.
“Things have happened which means justice has been done for the people who have suffered and the punishment has been given.
“My feeling is the Muslim community should be addressing this quietly, amicably and sensibly. We should be rational.
“It takes two to tango, there are bad apples, but it doesn’t mean to say everyone is bad.
“There are a few who unfortunately have got the wrong end of the stick, but that’s not Muslim.
“Sensible, mature Muslims would never allow that. They have condemned that.
“We need to find a way to address it, it needs to be looked into.
“There are a few people who lose themselves but the entire community shouldn’t be labelled.
“There is some feeling from some people that she played her part in it, the victim had a part to play.”
Campaigner David Hines said his comments were “ridiculous” and “contemptible”. He said: “What they did to this girl was inexcusable.
“She was exploited and then repeatedly raped. How on earth can you suggest that it takes two to tango.”