Six men who were members of a child abuse ring in Aylesbury have been handed lengthy prison sentences for grooming vulnerable underage girls for sex for as little as “the price of a McDonald’s, a milkshake and cinema ticket”.
The men were convicted at the Old Bailey of a range of sex offences between 2006 and 2012, including multiple rape of a child under 13, child prostitution and administering a substance to “stupefy” a girl in order to engage in sexual activity.
Vikram Singh, Asif Hussain, Arshad Jani, Mohammed Imran, Akbari Khan and Taimoor Khan were jailed on Monday for between three and 19-and-a-half years.
Most of the offences related to child A, who was present in court to see the men who robbed her of her teenage years sent down.
In a statement, she told of her feelings of worthlessness as she battled depression and alcohol addiction, adding: “I feel my teenage years were taken away from me.”
During the sentencing, the judge, John Bevan QC, paid tribute to her bravery in laying bare her life “warts and all” and said the way some of the defendants took advantage of her vulnerability was “grotesque”.
He said: “She sought friendship amongst Asian males in their 20s and for the price of a McDonald’s, a milkshake and cinema ticket, she became ‘liked’ by stallholders in Aylesbury market, taxi and bus drivers.
“By the age of 13 she was sexually experienced, confusing sexual gratification for friendship and love.”
By the time she was 16, the girl had slept with just under 70 men and her vulnerability should have been “blindingly obvious”, the judge said.
He went on: “Why these defendants focused their attention on white underage girls is unexplained but I have no doubt vulnerability played a substantial part in it.
“The combination of inadequate parenting leading to rebellious children lacking supervision provided an opportunity. If they pursued Asian underage girls, they would have paid a heavy price in their community.”
The two victims came from troubled backgrounds and wanted to feel grown-up when they were befriended by the men, who groomed them by showering them with inexpensive gifts such as alcohol, DVDs, food and occasionally drugs.
While aged just 12 or 13, child A was passed between some 60 mainly Asian men for sex after being conditioned into thinking it was normal behaviour, jurors were told. The vast majority of the charges related to this child, while three charges related to girl B.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Oliver Saxby QC, told the jury that the youngsters were “easy prey for a group of men wanting casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available”.
He said the girls’ ideas of what was right had been “completely distorted”, and that they thought what was happening was normal and natural.