Six men have been jailed for paying or offering to pay a “vulnerable and damaged” 16-year-old girl for sex.
Leicester Crown Court heard she had been used as a “sexual commodity” and left with internal injuries.
The girl told the men she was a prostitute, but the judge said they must have realised she was vulnerable and should have helped her.
The men, whose ages range from 20 to 39, were jailed for between eight months and five years.
Three pleaded guilty at their first appearance at Leicester Crown Court and three pleaded guilty part-way through a trial.
Judge Michael Pert QC said: “While it is fair to say that none of the defendants played any part in her decision to prostitute herself, it is equally true to say that anyone meeting her would immediately have realised that this was a vulnerable 16-year-old girl from a good Sikh family, who was embarking upon a disastrous course of action.”
‘Spreading the word’
The girl, now 17, had been been drinking alcohol to excess, smoking cannabis and self-harming, and said she needed to make money as her parents had threatened to throw her out.
She told police that boys at college had paid her for sex before she met the men, who were all from Leicester.
Wajid Usman was assaulted during an attack on the Moghul Durbar restaurant
Rakib Iacub was the first of the men to have sex with the victim, after they met at a Diwali festival.
The 20 year old introduced his 39-year-old friend, Aabidali Mubarak Ali, to the girl, and the three had sex together in a bed and breakfast.
Judge Pert said Ali was responsible for “spreading the word” about the girl, who began receiving a large number of phone calls from men, and also Facebook messages.
Between November last year and January this year the men had sex with her at various locations across Leicester, including a flat above the Moghul Durbar restaurant in East Park Road.
A group of people later attacked the restaurant and assaulted several people including Wajid Usman, who had also had sex with the girl.
Some of the men claimed they did not know it was illegal to pay a girl under 18 for sex, but Judge Pert said their conduct was “morally reprehensible” regardless.
He said: “She was, and is, articulate and attractive, but for reasons wholly unconnected to these defendants she was very vulnerable.
“She had been brought up in a traditional, if not conservative Sikh family and was, according to her, extremely unhappy.
“Any man with an ounce of decency would have tried to help her, not treated her as a sexual commodity, which is what each of you did.”
- Aabidali Mubarak Ali, 39, of Guthlaxton Street, was jailed for five years for two charges of paying for the sexual services of a child, and one charge of facilitating child prostitution. In mitigation, his barrister said he is an immigration “overstayer” and the consequences for his wife and three children will be “grave” if he is deported after serving his prison sentence.
- Rakib Iacub, 20, of Maynard Road, was jailed for three years for two charges of paying for the sexual services of a child, and one charge of facilitating child prostitution. His barrister said he was a virgin before having sex with the victim, and said he came from a “respectable family” which moved to England from India in 2003. He feels “deeply ashamed”.
- Wajid Usman, of East Park Road, was jailed for two years for paying for the sexual services of a child. He is an illegal immigrant from Afghanistan and claims not to know his date of birth, but is thought to be 22. His barrister said he had “fled a dreadful regime” and did not know paying the girl for sex was unlawful.
- Hamza Imtiazali, 28, of Kashmir Road, was jailed for two years for one charge of paying for the sexual services of a child, and two of facilitating child prostitution. His barrister said he feels “deeply remorseful”.
- Bharat Modhwadia, 25, of Wycombe Road, was jailed for 16 months for paying for the sexual services of a child, inciting child pornography, and trafficking the girl by driving her to a location for sex. Judge Pert acknowledged that he had initially advised the girl not to have sex for money, but this did not ultimately stop him from “taking advantage of her”.
- Chandresh Mistry, 37, of Berridge Lane, was jailed for eight months for attempting to pay for the sexual services of a child. He used Facebook to arrange to have sex with the girl, but they did not have sex because he became aware of the police investigation.