Five members of a sex grooming gang have been convicted for drugging, abusing, trafficking, and raping six teenage girls.
Waqaar Khan, Kadeem Bourne, Kenan Kelly, Marcus Woolcock, and Zahid Chaudhary were accused of almost 40 offences, Warwick Crown Court heard.
The gang used social media to befriend and lure their victims, many of whom were vulnerable and in care, the BBC reports.
They met in selected areas of the city, often plying their victims with alcohol or drugs before abusing and trafficking them for sex.
Ringleader Khan made contact with two girls, aged 15 to 17, before picking them up and forcing them to have sex, sometimes filming it.
One girl, aged 17, claimed she was knocked out by one of the men and came round to see them watching a video of herself being raped while she was unconscious.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Green said Khan came to the attention of police in March when he was a mutual “friend” on the social media accounts of several vulnerable young girls in the city.
When police subsequently examined his phone, officers found thousands of text messages containing “sexualised conversations and several videos of graphic sexual abuse”.
The girls identified the other men and a “comprehensive investigation” was started.
“It was the brazen nature of their offending that they actually thought they were untouchable and these girls wouldn’t report it through fear,” Det. Ch. Insp. Green said.
“So I’d like to thank the bravery of the girls for coming forward to bring these men to justice.”
The men, who all know each other, showed no remorse or empathy for their victims, he added.
The uncle of one of the girls described them as “despicable rats”.
He said: “They’re out there prowling through social media acting on vulnerable girls and abusing the life out of them for their own satisfaction and videoing them for their gratification – they’re just treating them like pieces of meat.”
The men were remanded in custody to be sentenced next month.