by WorldTribune Staff, March 15, 2018
“Grooming gangs” in the British town of Telford victimized up to 1,000 girls since the 1980s while whistleblowers who notified authorities of the brutal sex abuse gangs were silenced and punished, reports said.
The girls were drugged, beaten and raped at the hands of the violent pedophiles. Three people were murdered and two others died following incidents linked to the scandal, the Daily Mail reported on March 12.
The Mirror reported that authorities had been warned of widespread abuse of girls in Telford a decade before police launched Operation Chalice in 2013. Seven men were jailed in the investigation into child prostitution in the Telford area.
One victim, who was targeted by pedophiles and forced to sleep with dozens of men, said: “The police have betrayed the children of this town for a second time. I dread to think how many victims there have been over the years – it wouldn’t surprise me if the offending was on the same scale as Rotherham.”
In Rotherham around 1,400 girls, many of them underage, were sexually abused over a 16-year period by men from the town’s Pakistani community.
“It has been going on for at least two decades. When will it stop?” the victim asked.
According to the Mirror, police chaplain Keith Osmund-Smith was suspended after he provided to the newspaper documents which revealed social workers knew of the sex crimes before the year 2000.
Meanwhile, a woman who was hired by sex abuse charity Axis Counselling, based in Shrewsbury, was forced to leave her role after she tried to speak up, the Daily Mail report said.
The Mirror noted that one victim, a 14-year-old groomed and abused after her phone number was sold to pedophiles, said: “I hated what was happening and my abusers made my skin crawl but I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute. Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses.”
The victim continued: “I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions. I fell pregnant twice and had two abortions. Hours after my second termination, I was taken by one of my abusers to be raped by more men.”
One of the victims in Telford, 16-year-old Lucy Lowe, died alongside her mother and sister after the man who had been abusing her, 26-year-old Azhar Ali Mehmood, set fire to their house.
Mehmood first targeted Lucy in 1997. She gave birth to his child when she was just 14.
Mehmood was jailed for murdering Lucy, her mother Eileen and her sister Sarah, 17, but he had never been arrested or charged with any sex abuse crimes over his involvement with the young girl, the Daily Mail report said.
Another victim, Becky Watson, 13, was killed after a car she was in crashed in 2002. At the time the incident was reported as a “prank,” but it was revealed she had suffered two years of sex abuse at the hands of a grooming gang.
In diary entries she told of how she was forced to “sleep around.”
Her mother, Torron Watson, said she went to the police on a number of occasions and even handed them a list of suspects. But nothing was done.
“Girls like Becky were treated like criminals,” Watson said. “I was crying out for help but it felt like I had nowhere to turn. If Becky’s abuse had been properly investigated by the authorities more girls could have been saved from going through this hell.”
Vicky Round, a friend of Becky’s, was abused by the same gang, the Daily Mail report said. She was forced into a crack cocaine addiction at age 12 and by age of 14 was taking heroine regularly. She died at age 20 after a suspected drug overdose.
Those who were jailed in Operation Chalice include Mubarek Ali, 34, who sold teenage girls, some as young as 13, for sex above an Indian restaurant in Telford. His brother Ahdel Ali, 27, was handed a 26-year sentence after the pair sexually abused, trafficked, prostituted or tried to prostitute four teenagers, the Daily Mail report said.
Dino Nocivelli, a specialist child abuse solicitor, said: “These children were treated as sexual commodities by men who inflicted despicable acts of abuse. The survivors deserve an inquiry. They need to know how abuse took place for so long and why so many perpetrators have never been brought to justice.”