A Halifax man has been found guilty of raping two under-age girls at the end of a seven-week sexual grooming trial at Bradford Crown Court.
Halifax man Shazad Rehman, 30, was jailed on Wednesday for 18-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of raping two underage girls at the end of a seven-week sexual grooming trial at Bradford Crown Court.
He was also convicted of a series of other allegations including supplying cannabis to a number of young girls.
Rehman and 23-year-old Bilal Hussain, of Neville Road Avenue, Halton Moor, Leeds, were said to have targeted vulnerable under-age girls mainly in the Keighley area.
Hussain was this afternoon jailed for 17-and-a-half years after being found guilty to raping two youngsters as well as the drugs supply offences.
The pair denied abusing the girls, who were picked up as they cruised the streets of Keighley and Halifax, West Yorkshire.
The court heard how Rehman and Hussain plied the girls with alcohol and cannabis and took them to hotels for sex.
One of the victims suffered repeated rapes at the hands of both men and Rehman described the girls as “fresh meat”.
Rehman, of no fixed abode - but who told police in 2011 he was originally from Halifax, and Hussain were also found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice in relation to the intimidation of witness in the case.
A third man 31-year-old Yassar Adalat, of Milton Place, St Johns, Halifax, was cleared on that conspiracy charge.
Judge Jonathan Rose said the men “engaged in a course of conduct which has become increasingly and depressingly familiar in this country”.
Speaking after the sentencing, Michael Quinn, senior district crown prosecutor at CPS Yorkshire and Humberside said: “Shazad Rehman and Bilal Hussain have today been convicted of an appalling catalogue of abuse against young girls. “Rehman and Hussain are sexual predators who targeted their victims because of their youth and vulnerability. They systematically and ruthlessly groomed their child victims, plying them with strong alcohol and drugs, and exploited the trust placed in them as adults in the cruellest possible way.
“These offences were then further compounded by the defendants’ attempts to intimidate one of the prosecution witnesses. This clearly demonstrates the utter contempt these men have for the rule of law.
“All the victims have shown immense courage in coming forward, and helping us to build a strong prosecution case. I would like to pay tribute to their bravery today.
“The jury has now found the defendants guilty of all the charges. Thankfully they will be now be behind bars where they can no longer pose a threat to young children. I hope that this outcome will help the victims to continue to rebuild their lives. The result today sends out the clearest possible message that this type of case will be prosecuted with vigour and robustness.”
Airedale and North Bradford Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent, Angela Williams said: “Rehman and Hussain preyed upon these young girls, building their confidence before undertaking what were deplorable acts of abuse.
“Our teenage girls in Keighley are far safer now this pair are behind bars and removed from the streets.
“Months of detailed investigation went into monitoring their activities, which allowed us to build a catalogue of evidence against each of them.
“These sentences should therefore be a warning to anyone who thinks they can come to our town with the intention of committing such offences.
“Girls under 16 cannot consent to sexual acts in any circumstance and we will not tolerate or accept such behaviour.
“We will always face issues of child sexual exploitation head on and this outcome is testament to the strong partnership links which have been forged within the Bradford District.
“The expert support provided to the girls, gave them the courage to stand up against the perpetrators and ensured they were brought before the courts for their crimes.
“If you have experienced this, let us know and we will always act. You can call anonymously and in confidence on 0800 555 111.”