• March 25, 2023

Rochdale grooming gang members to be deported to Pakistan

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Two members of a Rochdale grooming gang are to be deported to Pakistan after losing a seven-year legal fight to remain in Britain.

Adil Khan, 51, and Qari Abdul Rauf, 53, were convicted in 2012 of a series of sexual offences against young girls and jailed later the same year.

The pair mounted a legal challenge after Theresa May, the then-home secretary, told them they would be deported.

They had argued that their human rights would be infringed by being removed from Britain and both said they had certificates renouncing their Pakistani citizenship.

In a ruling handed down on Wednesday, however, immigration judges said there was a “very strong public interest” to deport the pair as soon as possible.

Judges Charlotte Welsh and Siew Ling Yoke said Khan had shown a “breathtaking lack of remorse” about his part in the nine-member grooming gang that police believe abused as many as 47 vulnerable girls in Rochdale between 2008 and 2010.

The deportation ruling, which was made in August but released publicly on Wednesday, is the culmination of a seven-year legal challenge that has frustrated several home secretaries and increased tensions in Rochdale, where victims were living alongside their tormentors.

Khan, who was jailed for eight years, was convicted of trafficking a 15-year-old girl to his friends for sexual exploitation and using violence when she complained. His trial heard how, in his 40s, he had got a 13-year-old girl pregnant and denied he was the father.

During various deportation appeal hearings Khan complained about having no rights in the UK and said he needed to remain to be a role model for his son and teach him “right from wrong”.

He also denied grooming offences, saying his prosecution was racially motivated. He claimed he could not have groomed anyone because he was unable to speak English.

Rauf, a father-of-five, was convicted of trafficking a 15-year-old girl for sex and jailed for six years, serving two years and six months of his sentence before being released in 2014.

Home Office lawyers argued the case had taken a “very long time” and that it was in the public interest to deport both men as soon as possible.

They have now appeared before 12 judges, including a master of the rolls, during hearings at three crown courts, a number of immigration tribunals and the court of appeal. The pair’s legal challenge was funded by more than £550,000 of public money.

Police have said the gang groomed girls as young as 12, and the trial in 2012 heard how the victims were plied with alcohol and drugs, gang-raped above takeaway shops and ferried to flats in taxis to be abused.

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