Four members of a Muslim grooming gang look set to be deported after losing a legal battle to stop the government stripping them of their British citizenship.
All four hold dual UK and Pakistani citizenship. Mr. Justice Bernard McCloskey, Britain’s most senior immigration judge, rejected their appeal against then Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision to take away their British nationality.
Gang ringleader Shabir Ahmed, 64, has already lost an appeal against his possible deportation in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), during which he claimed his convictions were a conspiracy by police and members of the jury to “scapegoat” Muslims.
Last week, Mr. Justice McCloskey slammed the barristers attempting to block the deportations, accusing them of playing the system as they earn substantial fees at the taxpayer’s expense.
The judge’s decision clears the way for the men to be deported. However, it is likely to take months or even years before they actually leave the country, The Times reports.
The Rochdale gang to which they belonged was convicted in 2012 of preying on girls as young as 13 in the northern town, plying them with drink and drugs before they were “passed around” for sex.
Mr. Ahmed is currently serving 22 years for preying on vulnerable teenagers on the street of Rochdale, as well as for 30 child rapes on a young Asian girl he treated as a “possession” for more than a decade. Adil Khan, 47, Abdul Rauf, 48, and Abdul Aziz, 46, have been released on license.
Mr. Justice McCloskey, president of the immigration and asylum chamber of the upper tribunal, said: “The appellants were all many years older than their victims. In some cases girls were raped callously and viciously and in others they were forced to have sex with paying customers.
“The sentencing judge noted that some of the appellants acted to satiate their lust, others did so for financial gain and some had both motivations. All were condemned as having treated their victims as worthless and undeserving of basic respect.”
The judge added: “These offences were shocking, brutal and repulsive.”