Judge's warning as abusers jailed
Five members of a sadistic paedophile ring blighted their victims' lives and robbed girls of their adolescence, a judge said as he warned police and social services missed tell-tale signs of abuse.
Brothers Akhtar Dogar, 32, and Anjum Dogar, 31, and Mohammed Karrar, 38, and Bassam Karrar, 34, were handed life terms alongside Kamar Jamil, 27, while two others Zeeshan Ahmed, 28, and Assad Hussain, 32, were both jailed for seven years.
Campaigners compared the victims' suffering with "modern-day slavery" while Judge Peter Rook said "police and social services missed tell-tale signs" about the abuse that was taking place.
The men "blighted the lives of the victims and their families and robbed the girls of their adolescence", he said, outlining how they groomed the girls - four of whom bravely faced their attackers in the packed courtroom today - plying them with drink, drugs and attention.
The shocking details of the trial prompted campaigners to call for answers over how the abuse went on for so long, despite some of the victims reporting their plight to police and social services. A serious case review has been launched by authorities in Oxfordshire.
It is the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving Asian men abusing vulnerable girls. All of the men were of Pakistani origin apart from the Karrar brothers who were from north Africa.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: "There was a systematic failure to stop the gang earlier and protect the girls who raised the alarm on several occasions. We need a fundamental shift in how the system treats vulnerable young people with all carers acting as good parents would when children are at risk."
Mohammed Karrar was given life with a minimum of 20 years for the "dreadful offences" he committed. The judge said he treated one of his victims as his "commodity" and forced another to carry out "depraved sexual acts". He told Karrar, who was found guilty of 18 offences, including rape of a child under 13 and procuring an abortion, conspiracy to rape, child prostitution and trafficking: "You do and will continue to represent a high risk to young girls."
Handing his brother, Bassam Karrar, a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years, the judge referred to "grotesque sex acts" he carried out with his elder sibling. Jailing the Dogar brothers for a minimum of 17 years and Jamil for a minimum of 12 years he told them: "Your depraved crimes involved the brutal exploitation of three young and vulnerable girls."
The judge referred to the alleged "willful blindness" of authorities, claimed by the men's defence barristers on Wednesday, but added: "Whether that be right or not, it does not in any way justify your actions."