Fourteen Somali men have been convicted of running an inner city sex ring that involved the abuse, rape and prostitution of teenage British girls, it can be reported for the first time.
Victims as young as 13 were preyed upon, sexually abused and passed around the men’s friends for money in Bristol.
Several of the girls were groomed to the extent they believed abuse was part of loving relationships they were having with the defendants.
Some were persuaded to have sex with their ‘boyfriend’s’ friends as it was Somali “culture and tradition” and “men always have sex with each other’s girlfriends”.
The victims, described as “vulnerable” due to their age and circumstances, were paid as little as £30 or given drugs, alcohol and gifts to perform sex acts on older men.
In one dreadful night, one 13-year-old girl was raped four times by three different men, having been trafficked across the city to a Premier Inn by one of her abusers.
The Bristol case comes after allegations, convictions and resignations over organised child abuse and exploitation across English towns and cities including Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Telford.
Serious case reviews are now underway to try to understand how the girls became victims.
Avon and Somerset Police uncovered a two-year catalogue of abuse against 10 girls during their investigation into the Somali men, codenamed Operation Brooke.
A total of 14 were convicted of charges including rape, sexual activity with a child, facilitating child prostitution, trafficking, paying for the sexual services of a child and drug offences.
Defendants were tried in two separate trials at Bristol Crown Court this year, with eight jailed for between 18 months and 13 years following the first this summer.
The remaining seven, convicted by a jury yesterday following 32 hours and 17 minutes of deliberations, will be sentenced at the court tomorrow.
The first trial centred on a group of Somali drug dealers based in the Stapleton Road area of Easton in Bristol and their exploitation of primarily one teenage girl.
She had been moved into a flat on her own in Bristol and left almost unsupervised by social workers from outside the city.
Liban Abdi, 21, Mustapha Farah, 21, Arafat Osman, 20, Idleh Osman, 22, Abdulahi Aden, 20, Said Zakaria, 22, Mustafa Deria, 22, and Deria’s cousin Mohamed Jama, 20, were all jailed for between 18 months and 13 years for either child sexual exploitation or drugs offences.
The second trial focused on another group of young Somali men – but included Zakaria, whose nickname was ‘Target’ – and their grooming and subsequent sexual abuse of young girls in Bristol.
Mohamed Jumale, 24, Mohamed Dahir, 22, Zakaria, Jusuf Abdizirak, 20, Omar Jumale, 20, Abdirashid Abdulahi, 21 and Sakariah Sheik, 21, were all convicted of child sexual exploitation offences.
Judge Julian Lambert will sentence the seven defendants for the 20 charges they were convicted of, relating to four victims, tomorrow.
Two defendants, Jibril Mohamed, 21, and Dauud Osman, 19, were acquitted of the charges they faced.
The shocking case can only be reported for the first time today because restrictions placed upon the media were lifted at the conclusion of the second trial.
Prosecuting, Anna Vigars told the jury in the second trial: “Some of those girls knew each other, some didn’t, some had heard of each other.
“But what these girls have in common is that they were used by these men for sex.
“It is about the defendants simply using the girls to satisfy themselves whenever they felt like it, doing it so often that no doubt it began to feel normal as far as these girls were concerned.
“There are elements of exhibitionism too with sex taking place in front of other people in the group. Much of it is sordid, none of it is romantic.”
The jury was read transcripts of a police interview with Zakaria in which he was asked about the incident at the Premier Inn.
‘Target’ claimed he did not know the girls were aged just 13 – insisting they were 16 and 17 – but admitted they had given the men oral sex in the hotel room.
He described both girls as “dirty slags” and told police: “Now that’s all that happened that night and we left, they left with us and I don’t know why obviously it’s taken them this long to claim this.
“I just think they feel, they feel a bit burnt because I’ve got to be honest with you, I used to speak to a lot of girls in Bristol and I’ve got to see all their true colours now, so I just told them all to f*** off, I’m being honest with you, sorry to swear, but I just told them all to hit the road.
“They’re both slags innit, they’re both dirty slags, they got used and abused and now they’re saying rah, rah, rah, whose making them do anything they don’t want to do?
“Everyone knows what they’re there for innit, they come there to s**k d**k and then f*** off, that’s what they come for.”