Updated: Monday, 6th July 2020 @ 6:52pm

Rochdale child sex ring leader convicted for 30 counts of rape of three-year-old girl

Rochdale child sex ring leader convicted for 30 counts of rape of three-year-old girl

By Dean Wilkins

A rapist at the centre of the Rochdale child-grooming was convicted for 30 counts of sexual abuse at Manchester Crown Court today.

Shabir Ahmed, 59, of Windsor Avenue, Oldham, was found guilty of the systematic rape of a three-year-old girl which lasted 14 years until she was 17.

Ahmed was jailed for 19 years as one of nine men involved in the Rochdale sex-ring convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and trafficking a child within the UK.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life after the girl courageously came forward and spoke to the police about the abuse.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, head of GMP’s Public Protection Division, said: “This girl has shown phenomenal bravery to come forward and tell the police and other authorities about what happened to her and I hope today’s outcome gives other victims of abuse the confidence to trust in the police.

“We do take all forms of abuse and exploitation extremely seriously and are continually working with our partners to ensure we improve the ways to deal with vulnerable people.

“We already knew Ahmed was an integral part of the Rochdale grooming case – now we can also say his horrific campaign of abuse began many years ago with the systematic rape of this one victim.

“Ahmed was in many ways the ring-leader of a loosely connected on-street grooming ring. Over the course of several years, he was the common denominator in a group of men who raped and abused girls aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the offences.”

On May 9, eight other men were sentenced to a total of 77 years in jail as part Greater Manchester Police’s largest ever investigation into child sexual exploitation.

The inquiry focused on allegations that five teenage girls in Rochdale were sexually exploited over a period of time by a group of 11 men.

Officers are still hunting Mohammed Shahzad, 40, who has not been seen since June 15 2011. Shazad is wanted for rape.

Detective Chief Superintendent Doyle added: “We are confident that there may be other arrests in the future and, as always, we would appeal to anyone who has been a victim of abuse to speak to police, carers or the health authorities. Your information will be treated seriously and in confidence.”

Anyone who is concerned about a child or young person should call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in emergencies.

You can also call the NSPCC on 0800 800 5000. Any child or young person wanting help and advice can use the numbers above or contact Childline on 0800 1111.

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