Seven men have been found guilty of grooming and raping underage girls aged 13 to 17, plying them with drink and drugs and abusing them at sex “parties” and in a van known as the “shag wagon”.
The seven-man grooming gang was described as “predatory and cynical” by a judge as the jury announced their decision on Friday following a five-month trial at Oxford Crown Court.
The men, aged between 37 and 48, denied what prosecutors described as “sexual exploitation on a massive scale” — but were found guilty of charges including multiple counts of rape, indecent assault, false imprisonment, and supplying drugs.
Reporting on the gang of what the BBC described as “Oxford men” was previously restricted, and two men involved in the trial still cannot be named for legal reasons.
The guilty men were named as Assad Hussain, 37, of Morrell Avenue; Moinul Islam, 41, of Wykeham Crescent; Raheem Ahmed, 40, of Starwort Path; Kamran Khan, 36, of Kersington Crescent; Kameer Iqbal, 39, of Dashwood Avenue; Alladitta Yousaf, 48, of Bodley Road; and Khalid Hussain, 38, of Ashurst Way.
Two others, Saboor Abdul and Haji Khan, were acquitted of all charges.
Six of the attackers were from Oxford and one from Bolton, Thames Valley Police said. Their five “vulnerable female victims” were aged 13 to 17 when they were abused from 1998 and 2005.
“Systematic and widespread grooming, that is what this case has revealed,” remarked Judge Peter Ross, who presided over the trial.
During the trial, the court heard accounts from victims, who said they were pressured into sex, given drink and drugs, and taken to sex “parties”. A number also described a van referred to as the “shag wagon” – with a license plate ending ‘SHG’ – where attacks and even gang rapes occurred.
Describing the vehicle, a black Nissan Serena people carrier, one victim said: “They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them.
“Everything happened in that Serena,” she added, explaining how the men would “take it in turns” to have sex with her at the drug-fueled attacks.
The girls were also taken to a number of addresses around Oxford, as well as guesthouses, cars parks, lay-bys, and local parks for abuse.
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“This has been a lengthy and difficult investigation undertaken by Thames Valley Police and the Elmore Team, which has taken place over a significant period of time,” commented Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Mark Glover, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit.
“These convictions would not have been possible without the incredible bravery and ongoing support of the victims.
“This group of men subjected them to an almost unimaginable level of cruelty and sexual abuse over a significant period of time.
“To have come through that trauma, and to have been able to help and support us throughout our investigation is a testament to the strength of their characters.
“I know that nothing will be able to change the damage done to these women’s lives by this group of men, but I hope that these convictions will help them to move forward with their lives.”
WATCH: Quilliam’s Maajid Nawaz Blasts ‘Complicit’ Politicians and Police in Pakistani Grooming Gang Coverup https://t.co/yQkIiw1mGq
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Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, added: “All of the men have failed to accept any responsibility for their actions, but the jury has carefully sifted and evaluated the evidence and delivered their verdicts.”
The men will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court in June.
Jack Mongomery contributed to this report