Oxford exploitation trial:
Guilty verdicts over child rapes
Seven (Muslim) members of a sex grooming ring have been convicted of abusing children from Oxford.
Oxford rape and trafficking: Who were the abusers?
Oxford rape and trafficking: Who were the victims?
An Old Bailey jury heard six girls were drugged and suffered sadistic abuse while aged between 11 and 15.
The court heard victims were plied with alcohol and drugs before being forced to perform sex acts. Some had also been beaten, burnt and threatened.
Nine men had denied charges including rape, arranging child prostitution and trafficking between 2004 and 2012.
Two were acquitted of all charges.
The judge told the guilty men: "You have been convicted of the most serious offences and long custodial sentences are inevitable." .They are due to be sentenced on 26 June 2013.
Pain and humiliation
The abuse began in Oxford but some of the victims would be later taken around the country to be offered to other men who were in contact with the gang.
Victim: "I was scared to say no"
The court heard how the men identified vulnerable girls for abuse then groomed each one of them until they were under the control of the gang.
Acts of physical and sexual violence escalated into using objects to cause pain and humiliation.
The court heard girls were tied up, burnt, suffocated, bitten, scratched and urinated upon.
Jurors were told most of the victims chose to take vast quantities of hard drugs to deaden their senses, particularly when they knew they were being hired out to a large group of men for gang abuse sessions that could go on for days.
The victims would return to Oxford bleeding, injured and carrying sexually-transmitted diseases.
One of the victims described being plied with hard drugs and forced to have sex with strangers while being filmed at the age of 13.
On one occasion she was given so much crack cocaine she could not breathe and was rushed to hospital.
Hundreds of children and young people have suffered - their almost unimaginable torment apparently invisible to the world around them”
Another, who was groomed at the age of 11, said she fell in love with Mohammed Karrar who raped her, beat her with a baseball bat and forced her to have an illegal back-room abortion when she was 12-years-old.
She said of her abuse: "At the time I thought it was my choice and it was fine, but years on I can see I never had a choice. I said 'no' but I didn't have a say.
"It was literally like a normal relationship but I know now it isn't a normal relationship. I was a child.
"He told me he loved me. He said he would take me to Saudi Arabia when I was 15 and marry me. I believed him at the time."
A number of opportunities to catch members of the gang are believed to have been missed and prosecutors, the police and social services have apologised for any failings.
Scuffle in court
The jury at the Old Bailey considered the evidence for two-and-a-half days and returned the following verdicts.
- Kamar Jamil was found guilty of five counts of rape, two counts of conspiracy to rape, threats to kill, possessing cocaine with intent to supply,and two counts of facilitating child prostitution
- Akhtar Dogar was found guilty of five counts of rape, three counts of conspiracy to rape, two counts of child prostitution and one count of trafficking.
- Anjum Dogar was found guilty of four counts of rape, two counts of child prostitution, two counts of conspiracy to rape and one count of trafficking.
- Assad Hussain was found not guilty of rape and guilty of two counts of sex with a child.
- Mohammed Karrar was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to rape, three counts of rape of a child, one count of using an instrument to procure miscarriage, two counts of trafficking, one count of assault of a child by penetration, one count of child prostitution, one count of rape and one count of supplying a class A drug.
- Bassam Karrar was found guilty of two counts of rape, one count of conspiracy to rape a child, one count of rape of a child, one count of child prostitution, one count of trafficking and one count of conspiracy to rape.
- Zeeshan Ahmed was found guilty of two counts of sex with a child.
There was a scuffle in the dock as Ahmed struck out at Mohammed Hussain when he was cleared of the charges against him.
Mr Hussain was found not guilty of three counts of sex with a child.
Sold for sex
The Old Bailey was told the key members of the group used and abused the six victims in a systematic and organised sex trafficking ring over eight years until their arrest in 2012.
The court heard how the men identified vulnerable girls for abuse and then groomed each one of them until they were under the control of the gang.
They were then each either abused by the men themselves, given to their friends or offered at a price to others who were not on trial.
The youngest girl to be targeted was 11-years-old. The girls were mostly chosen because their unsettled or troubled lives made them easier to manipulate.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it would look again at its decision to take no further action over allegations involving the girls between 2005 and 2006.
Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern, said: "I think we could have been more proactive. Of four cases we looked at, in three of those it's arguable we might have been able to do more.
"I think what these cases have highlighted is that they're probably not isolated incidents and there's probably more of this activity going on."
One of the victims had complained to police twice but no one was charged.
A care home manager, who was later sacked, refused to pay her taxi fare when she returned after running away and the 14-year-old was driven back to Oxford where she was raped.
The court heard girls, who had been placed in care by Oxfordshire County Council for their own protection, would frequently abscond and were caught with older men by police.
Council chief executive Joanna Simons said: "We are incredibly sorry we were not able to stop it any sooner.
"We were up against a gang of devious criminals. The girls thought they were their friends."
Det Ch Supt Rob Mason said: "Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council social services deeply regret that this activity wasn't identified sooner and that we were too reliant on victims supporting criminal proceedings and that they suffered a terrible ordeal."
Oxford rape and trafficking: Who were the abusers?
They ran it like an organised business. Men who made money from abusing young girls while satisfying their own sexual gratification.
In their police interviews, they said little or nothing - even when pressed.
But despite their silence, officers pieced together a harrowing picture of disturbing abuse, which was presented to the jury at the Old Bailey.
Young girls were groomed, raped, abused and sold for sex by the gang of Oxford men, who have now been convicted of a catalogue of sex offences.
Det Insp Simon Morton, of Thames Valley Police, said: "They start out at 11 or 12 as ordinary girls, in our case, and by the time they're finished they're hollow.
"They are shells of what they should be and the little girl in there is gone.
"It's sexual atrocities, it's torture.
"You can't report it, you can't put it on TV, you can't write it down. We have had members of the press in tears in court.
"It's been horrendous."
So who were the men who subjected these girls to such violent abuse - and who were the ringleaders?
Mohammed and Bassam Karrar:
Brothers who ran prostitution ring
Bassam (left) and Mohammed Karrar prostituted
and raped girls in partnership
Mohammed Karrar was the most prolific offender in the case.
The 38-year-old's family is thought to originate from Eritrea, in East Africa, but he grew up in his parents' house on the Cowley Road.
He organised sex parties where he prostituted and raped girls in partnership with his younger brother Bassam, 33, a married father who worked as a security guard and also lived in Oxford.
Mohammed was also married, having met and married his wife in Morocco and brought her to the UK approximately a decade ago.
With no job, he would spend his days with her at his parents house in Cowley and nights with his mistress in Marston - when he was not carrying out horrific acts of abuse.
In 2005, he had two children by the two different women, born less than two weeks apart. By the time he was arrested, he was a father of four.
The brothers separately and together subjected victims three and four to a string of violent and sadistic rapes, often leaving them injured.
After grooming them for about a year, they took them to other places around the county to be sold and raped in hotels and "brothels for young girls".
Other men paid them to play out sadistic sexual fantasies and gang rape victim four.
Mohammed Karrar forced victim four to have an illegal backroom abortion when she became pregnant. She was 12 years old.
He was friends with the Dogar brothers.
Akhtar 'Spider' and Anjum 'Jami' Dogar: Brothers and ringleaders
Brothers Akhtar (left) and Anjum Dogar were the
ringleaders and "ruled the Cowley Road area"
The Dogar brothers were well-known faces in the east Oxford community.
Thirty-two-year-old Akhtar, or "Spider" as he was known, "ruled the Cowley Road", according to one of his victims. He would hang around there drinking and chatting to girls when not working as a hospital porter.
His younger brother Anjum, or "Jami", 31, was unemployed.
The Dogar brothers were ringleaders of the grooming gang and the other men were scared of them, according to the victims.
They were instrumental in planning the girls' prostitution and abuse together with Kamar Jamil.
The Dogars abused victims one, two and three over four years.
'Charged for rape'
For up to a year they would groom their victims, give them alcohol and drugs and buy them presents to "make them feel special".
But once they had gained their trust, the abuse would start.
They took the girls out in cars and to hotels, guesthouses, empty houses, parks and woods where they raped them and charged other men to do the same.
Men would even be invited from Bradford, Leeds, Slough and other parts of the country to come to Oxford - and charged to take their turn to rape the girls.
Sarah Lazenby, who lives on same street as the Dogars, said she was surprised to learn of the actions of two men from a family she still supports.
She said: "I was shocked when these two young men from our street were arrested.
"We saw all the police activity then it came out in the news. I would never have guessed they would be involved in something like this."
Kamar 'K-dog' Jamil: Recognised by his gold tooth
Kamar Jamil had three children at
the time of his arrest
The Dogars grew up on the same street as Kamar Jamil.
Nicknamed "K-Dog" after a wrestler, Jamil went to Cheney School before studying computing at college.
He had a string of jobs, working in a warehouse and as a car salesman.
Identified by his victims thanks to his gold tooth, he married his British girlfriend in an Islamic ceremony after she had his child.
By the time of his arrest, the 27-year-old had three children and was working as a supermarket security guard.
Jamil operated in partnership with the Dogars, with whom he abused and prostituted victims one and two.
He also knew the Karrar brothers and had previously worked with Assad Hussain.
Assad 'Ash' Hussain and Zeeshan Ahmed
Assad Hussain (left) and Zeeshan Ahmed
Assad Hussain, 32, is a former taxi driver who at the time of the offences was working at the BMW plant in Cowley and at Dominoes Pizza on the Cowley Road.
Known as "Ash" or "Abi", he raped and abused victim one and five while she was being "controlled" by the Dogars.
He would finish at about 10pm and then head to the Cowley Road, where he would meet up with friends to eat and drink.
Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, lived above a grocer's shop on the Cowley Road.
He was convicted of sexually abusing victim five at his flat.
Zeeshan Ahmed was also the only of the men who was accused and found guilty of abusing victim six.
Oxford rape and trafficking: Who were the victims?
Seven men have been convicted at the Old Bailey of being involved in the systematic grooming and trafficking of girls from the Oxford area into a life of sexual abuse.
At the heart of the prosecution was the testimony of six victims who had been targeted, groomed and ultimately controlled and sold for sex with men around the country.
One had been only 11 years old when the gang first approached her. When they gave their evidence, the youngest was 16 and the oldest 21. There were other victims who were not called as witnesses.
All victims of sex attacks are entitled to anonymity under the law. These are their stories, based on what was heard in court; they contain graphic descriptions of sexual violence and abuse.
The first victim had a happy home life until her mother began drinking when she suffered post-natal depression after the birth of another child.
GIRL ONE'S ABUSE:
By the time she was in secondary school, the girl was smoking and playing truant and hanging around Oxford city centre to avoid home.
Akhtar and Anjum Dogar, two of the brothers at the centre of the abuse, befriended her. She was later introduced to Kamar Jamil and Assad Hussain.
She would stay out all evening with the men, smoking and drinking, and they would give her little gifts - and eventually cannabis and cocaine.
"'They made me feel like I was kind of important," she said.
But by the time she was 13, the men had forced her into sex in guest houses and hotel rooms. The individual acts progressed to group rapes.
As the control moved into its next phase, the men began to threaten her if she refused to meet them. They would sit outside her home in a car or threaten to burn down the house with her family inside.
The assaults progressed to more horrific abuse. Men would come from Bradford, Leeds and Slough to rape her. She saw money change hands as she was forced to have sex with five men a night.
In one house she had seen other girls in a similar state, curled up, waiting for the sex to start again. Like them, she reached a stage where she took sufficient drugs to become so "wasted" she could allow them to rape her and avoid threats and violence.
She told the police of specific memories, including being forced to have sex up to 20 times with a man who came with Moet champagne and cocaine.
Once, Jamil and the Dogar brothers drove her to a country park. Another four men joined them and they threatened to cut off her head if she did not perform sexual acts on all of them.
She would go missing for a week a time - and would return covered in bruises and cigarette burns. She began to self-harm and frequently caught chlamydia.
Girl One was taken into care. She eventually made a complaint to the police against Akhtar Dogar and other men. Dogar was interviewed in September 2006 but denied raping her.
Just after her 16th birthday, the girl threw her phone away, stopped taking drugs and went back to school in an attempt to distance herself from her abusers. She has since gained qualifications and has a new life and job.
The second victim had been in care and foster placements from when she was seven years old in 1999.
GIRL TWO'S ABUSE
She became involved in the abuse after meeting Girl One in care who, in turn, introduced her to the Dogar brothers and Kamar Jamil. Together, they would run away from the home to meet the men.
She was driven to alleyways and woods, various houses and flats where she was raped by them and others. She recalled occasions when she and Girl One would be in the same house being raped by different men.
They supplied her with alcohol and drugs, threatened her and burnt her with a lighter. Akhtar Dogar once threatened to have her shot if she did not comply with his demands.
She once tried to flee through a window while in a flat where she was expected to have sex with several men. But the window was too small so she rang the police.
When officers arrived, the place smelled of cannabis and the men had condoms and bundles of money.
The girl admitted she was only 14 and had run away from a children's home and five men were arrested from the address.
But the girl said she was too frightened of the men to allow a case to progress. When a specialist child protection officer attempted to take a video statement, she stated none of the men had abused her.
She came forward only after she saw a news report about the men being arrested in March 2012.
During the abuse, she told another girl who was in care: "I have no choice. I just want to be loved. I've never been loved and this shows me love."
GIRL THREE ABUSE
The third victim had a difficult and abusive childhood and was subsequently taken into care and adopted.
But she would rebel and go missing - and while she wandered Oxford, she was identified and groomed by Mohammed Karrar.
He introduced her to his brother Bassam and the Dogar brothers and, following the pattern with Girl One, groomed and prepared her.
"I was paying them with my body for the drugs they were giving me. That was my life. That's all I had. I just felt scared, alone and scared. In the end I was suicidal”
But in the case of Girl Three, she was trafficked around the country to satisfy the men's clients - taken to properties where other men appeared to be running brothels providing young girls.
Sometimes she was sent away for days at a time. She was often so intoxicated by drink and drugs that she cannot entirely recall all of the abuse.
On one occasion, the court heard, Mohammed Karrar had given her so much crack cocaine she ended up in hospital.
To this day, she has no idea how many men she was sold to for sex.
One of the key allegations in the trial was a rape by Bassam Karrar during which she thought she was going to die.
Another resident at the guest house where this attack occurred called the police.
Her adoptive mother says she repeatedly sought help from the authorities to get her daughter back from the gang but she said nobody was prepared to look at the whole picture of what was going on.
You can read and listen to the full story of Girl Three - and how she has sought to rebuild her life - by following the link.
Girl Four's story reveals considerable detail about the extent of the child sex abuse ring that the Karrar brothers were involved in - abuse involving men in other locations who are not on trial.
GIRL FOUR'S ABUSE
She told the court she "made friends" with Mohammed Karrar when she had just turned 11. She was small for her age and it was clear she was still a relatively young child.
Karrar groomed her and would violently rape her and threaten her with weapons.
He also "branded" the girl to signify that she belonged to him.
Karrar made Girl Four pregnant when she was 12 years old. When she told him, he beat her up, then took her to a house in Reading, where a primitive abortion was carried out that prosecutors said could have killed her.
The Karrars controlled her so much they would come to her family home to rape her. Mohammed Karrar, the court heard, regarded her as his property and he would charge men £500 to have sex with her.
They would take her to homes in High Wycombe where she would be subjected to gang rapes - incidents that she described as "torture sex". The men would tie her up and gag her mouth with a ball to stop her cries being heard.
The men would play out abuse fantasies; sometimes she was left bleeding for days afterwards.
In one of her few acts of defiance, she threatened Mohammed Karrar with his own lock knife as he was preparing to rape her. He knocked her out with a metal baseball bat.
The girl revealed details of the abuse to social workers and police. In 2008, another man, Amit Singh was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a child.
The fifth victim was, at 16, the youngest to give evidence in the trial, speaking from behind a screen. She had been abused right up until the arrests in January 2012.
GIRL FIVE'S ABUSE
She had spent parts of her childhood in care and with foster parents. She first met the men who would abuse her when she was 12.
The court heard the girl was abused by defendants Assad Hussain, known as "Ash", and Zeeshan Ahmed. Assad Hussain was linked to Girl Five through DNA evidence.
Although there was no evidence he abused her, Kamar Jamil, a supermarket security guard, turned a blind eye to Girl Five and others stealing vodka from his store. Akhtar Dogar tried to have sex with Girl Five - but she punched him in the face to stop him. She had also received a call or made one to Mohammed Karrar's phone.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey that Girl Five's account was supported by the experiences of the final victim.
On one occasion, Girl Five was in a house with the sixth victim, Zeeshan Ahmed and two other men she described as Asian. She was given cannabis and alcohol and passed out.
The last girl to give evidence was friends with Girl Five, through whom she met Zeeshan Ahmed and other older Asian men. They would hang around with them in a park and she was slowly drawn into their world of sexual control.
GIRL SIX'S ABUSE
She said she visited Ahmed's flat with Girl Five, got drunk and smoked cannabis, but refused to take cocaine.
She said that she witnessed Ahmed "sell" Girl Five to other men.
There would be other men in the flat and she rejected their advances and became concerned at the growing number of strangers hanging around the flat.
When she was 15, she said, she had had consensual sex with Ahmed when drunk.
Case Materials submitted: