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Girl, 14, forced into prostitution

Nine men have been jailed after a 14-year-old girl was preyed upon and forced into prostitution.

The vulnerable teenager was targeted with vodka and cigarettes after she was spotted wandering the streets before she was made to have sex with a string of Asian men, Greater Manchester Police said.

The child went missing from home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, on two occasions in February 2008 before she told officers she had been sexually exploited.

Over the following weeks the girl was spoken to by a specialist team of officers, police said. She was able to identify the places she was taken and the men who had abused her.

The convictions for various offences, including sexual activity with a child, controlling a child prostitute, facilitating child prostitution and paying for sexual services with a child, can be reported following the acquittal of another man at Manchester Crown Court who faced charges in connection with the case.

The girl, who is white, had to testify in separate trials involving the men and was eventually excused further evidence after a third hearing when psychologists ruled there were fears for her mental and physical well-being.

In a statement, the girl said: "These people exploit young girls, introduce them to prostitution, feed them drugs and alcohol and tell them they love them. I know this because it has happened to me and it has changed my life enormously. I just hope that people will be more aware of this now and will be able to prevent this from happening to other vulnerable young girls."

Superintendent Paul Savill, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "This child has been through an absolutely horrifying ordeal at the hands of these men. The level of abuse she has suffered is almost beyond belief. She has been treated like a commodity; beaten, threatened and sexually exploited. These men took advantage of her vulnerability with no regard for her well-being. I commend this young girl for her bravery in supporting this case. Even after her ordeal she was able to revisit the sites where she was abused and testify against her abusers in court."

Aftab Khan, 31, of Tarporley Avenue, Fallowfield, pleaded guilty to one count of controlling a child prostitute and one count of sexual activity with a child. He was sentenced to nine years in prison. This was later reduced to seven years on appeal. Abid Khaliq, 30, of Shrewsbury Street, Stretford, was sentenced to eight months in prison after admitting perverting the course of justice. Ahmed Noorzai, 29, of Royce Court in Hulme, was sentenced to four years in prison after he was found guilty of paying for the sexual services of a child. Mohammed Anwar Safi, 31, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 31 months in prison after admitting paying for the sexual services of a child.

Mohammed Khan, 26, of Royce Court, Hulme, was sentenced to four years in prison after he was found guilty of facilitating child prostitution. Najibullah Safi, 32, of Reabrook Avenue, West Gorton, was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to sexual activity with a child. Asad Yousaf Hassan, 28, of Rivington Street, Rochdale, was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting two counts of sexual activity with a child. Mohammed Basharat, 28, of Prospect Street, Rochdale, was sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child under 16. Mohammed Atif, 29, of Rivington Street, Rochdale, was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to sexual activity with a child.

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