Derby Rape Gang Grooming Parties

Inside Story - Derby Rape Gang Teen Parties

*Day and night partying

*Girls as young as 13 smoking and drinking with Asian men

*Cars, drugs and booze

*One girl's desperate plea for help

*Witness forced to give evidence exposed to dangerous and violent gang

Following the sentencing of Abid Mohammed Saddique and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, leaders of the notorious Derby rape gang, we gain yet more insight into low-life Britian and the seedy world that preys on vulnerable young girls. It is common place on many housing estates to see groups of younger girls hanging out with older boys, often drinking and smoking. The nightmare of most parents is a harsh reality for many, whose children are already caught up in the horror of drugs, drink and sex on Britain's streets. Parents working full time and not being able to afford adequate out-of-school supervision and those who just can't be bothered to care run the risk of their children falling into the clutches of evil-doers who, it seems have plenty of time and opportunity to groom their unsuspecting victims with offers of a shoulder to lean on, free food, booze and fags and an escape from day to day problems with exciting trips in fast cars. Young girls are often in a rush to grow up and are very susceptible to flattery from disgusting men who give them the sense that they are special by flashing their cash and bestowing treats. Community break-down also plays its part, as we no longer look out for our neighbours' children and turn a blind eye to social issues affecting the safety and well-being of our young people, whatever their background.

I spoke to 'M', who lived in shared accommodation with Saddique and Liaqat and describes day and night booze sessions hosted by the pair, where sometimes as many as six Asian men smoked, drank and 'partied' with two or three young white girls at a time. 'M' describes the gathering of youths for 'chill sessions' at accommodating houses as commonplace in many areas, as there is nothing else for them to do and nowhere for them to go. They pool what little money they have to buy drink and drugs to share between them and spend a few hours chatting, relaxing and listening to music, for many of them it is a chance to escape their troubles and be around people in similar situations to themselves. Easy pickings for the like of Saddique and Liaqat who picked up young girls and plied them with drink and drugs before raping and abusing them along with eleven other men who were charged with 75 offences in total, involving in the filming, imprisonment and sexual abuse of 26 girls (though police believe there may be many more who have been to afraid to speak out), the supply of drugs and witness intimidation. Graham Blackham, a previously convicted sex offender and who also rented a room from Saddiqque, got three years for two breaches of the Sexual Offender Prevention Order which banned him from contact with under 18s.

'M': 'I used to live in a room in shared accommodation on Slack Lane, which I rented from Abid Mohammed Saddique, who I believed was the owner of the property. Another dude, Graham Blackham, also rented a room there. I only knew Saddique by his nickname, 'Kam', and he was nearly always in the company of Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, who I knew as 'Khan'. I never knew that either of them were married or had families – they never spoke of them. Kam (Saddique) kept a room at the top of the house for his own use, I thought he lived there actually, renting out the other rooms to me and Graham for extra cash.

The house was always very active; Kam and Khan were coming and going all hours of the day and night, cocaine, booze and blow (marijuana) were around 24/7's, it was one big party zone in Kam's room. They always had two or three white or mixed-race girls with them, some looked around 16/17, some of them did look much younger, nearer to 13 or 14, I'd say. Young kids smoking dope and drinking booze is not so uncommon in many areas around where I live. I noticed that some of the girls looked quite young, but I just thought that they were looking for booze or weed, none of them seemed unhappy to be there or in any kind of distress. I didn't see any sexual stuff going on.

When I first moved in, Kam invited me to come blaze (smoke marijuana) and have a drink with him a couple of times. Khan would also be there, sometimes one or two other Asian guys and always a couple of girls. We would smoke and chill, catch jokes, music on - the usual thing. Kam and Khan would turn up in lots of different cars, from Audi's to Astras. I assumed that they came from well-off families and were living it up before they had to get married or something. I didn't really think about it too much, all I knew was they were always partying and seemed to have enough dollar to do it. They didn't really bother with me too much though, I bought weed from them a few times. They were partying all the time they were in the house, day and night. Sometimes there would be as many as five or six Asian guys and three or four girls in there. If they ran out of booze in the early hours, they would go to the garage in town to get more. There was always loud music playing and people coming and going.

I didn't really see or hear anything to make me think anything too untoward was going on; I didn't hear any girls getting upset or yelling for help or anything, except for this one time when I heard screaming and shouting coming from the communal hallway. I came out of my room to see what all the fuss was about and saw a young girl of about 16 standing on the stairs, crying her eyes out and screaming that she wanted to go home. Kam was above her, leaning over the bannister to shout down at her, he was telling her to stop being a silly bitch and to come back upstairs. I asked the girl what was going on and she told me that she wanted to go, while all the time, Kam shouted at her to stay and told me to keep out of it. I offered to see the girl safely out of the house but she said she didn't want to go without her friend who was still upstairs in Kam's room. I told her to go and get her friend while I was standing there and a slanging match started between me and Kam; him saying 'What the f***'s it got to do with you?' and 'Stay out of it, it's none of your f***ing business'. I told him he should just let them go if they wanted to go and to leave it. The girl who had been on the stairs went back up and came out of Kam's room almost immediately with her friend. Both girls looked upset and distressed at that time but they didn't say anything to me as they passed by me to the door so I guessed it was just a party gone wrong as can happen when the drink and drugs are flowing. The girls left while me and Kam were still shouting at each other. In the end, he slammed back in to his room and I slammed in to mine. I spent less and less time there before I eventually moved in with my girlfriend. I was in and out of the house a lot in the end, using the place as a base rather than staying there every night, so I didn't see much of Kam and Khan as time went on.

There were two occasions whilst I was living in Kam's house when people came looking for girls they said were missing or abducted. First was a group of Asian girls, asking for their cousin or sister or something. They said she had gone missing or had been kidnapped and did I know where Kam or Khan were or if they had an Asian girl with them? I didn't know where they were and I hadn't seen them for a while by then so I wasn't much help. Some time later two white women, a mother and daughter or two sisters, I'm not sure which, came asking a similar thing. They also asked for Kam and Khan, obviously knowing them by their nicknames. All kinds of things go off in these areas and all kinds of people know all kinds of people. I'm used to seeing folks looking for their wayward kids, it happens all the time in these circles. I had no reason to think that Kam and Khan were doing anything other than supplying drink and blow (marijuana) to under-aged kids, like I say, the scene of guys in nice cars hanging around with lots of different girls is not too uncommon where I live. When I moved out of the room at Slack Lane I left with no idea of what might really have been going on there. Like I say, I thought it was just a party zone, like a lot of others in the area. Nothing out of the ordinary. I didn't see or hear anything of Kam or Khan after I moved out in February 2008.

A few months later, I was arrested for a petty crime. As I was leaving the police station an officer overheard my name and said he'd been looking for me to ask how I came to live at Slack Lane and who did I live there with. I told him I rented a room in a shared house and he asked me if I would come into another room to identify my landlord on a video identity parade. The police didn't ask me anything else or tell me what was going on, they just asked if I could confirm who my landlord was and then let me go. I didn't hear from the police again until I answered bail some weeks later and was collared again, this time for more info on Kam and Khan and what went on at the house while I lived there. I told the police that Kam and Khan were party boys and that the only upset I had been aware of was the incident with the girl on the stairs that had seemed to be no more than a bust up. It seemed like an informal questioning and though they wrote things I said down in the form of a statement, I didn't sign anything and there was no mention of taking legal advice. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting in to because I didn't know what Kam and Khan were supposed to have done. Again, the police let me go and I heard no more about it.

I was arrested and sent to a Young Offenders Institution in December 2008 for a drink-driving incident. It was when I was in custody and saw Kam and Khan on the news that I first heard the charges against them. I had known nothing about the allegations when the police had asked me questions about Kam and Khan, who now it turned out, had apparently headed a gang of 13 men accused of raping and sexually assaulting under-age girls after plying them with drugs and drink. I thought back to the house parties back at Slack Lane. Man, it came as a shock to me, or a realisation, I don't know which. Either way, it felt like a shock, still. I couldn't believe it really. Sounds stupid when you look back on it all, I know. I knew there was under-age drinking and such like going on, but there were parties going on all the time, it was the usual thing and there were always girls around. I just hadn't seen it that way, you don't think things like that. I mean, come on now, it took the police 100's of hours of watching them trying to pick up young girls on CCTV footage to figure out what was going on, and they were running a surveillance operation! Even then, they only made a move after one girl escaped from a flat the police were supposed to be watching and rang them to say she'd been raped.

A few weeks after the story about the Derby rapes had been on the news, and while I was still in custody, I was told one morning that I was going to court that day. I asked why, as I hadn't done anything wrong, and they said I had to go. I was taken to Nottingham Crown Court (though I didn't even know what court I was at at the time) and put in a holding cell, which is when I was told I would be giving evidence that day in relation to my time living at Slack Lane. I had no prior warning and seemingly no choice. I was told I had to give evidence on the grounds of some order that was 'above Crown Court jurisdiction', whatever that meant. I was taken in handcuffs to the court room via the stairs from the holding cells and straight into a stand to see the judge and jury all there before me, ready and waiting with Kam and Khan also in the room. I wasn't behind any kind of screen so they clearly saw me standing there in front of them. I was surprised to say the least - nobody had spoken to me about any of this prior to the court appearance; it all came completely out of the blue. I was asked to read out the 'statement' I had given when questioned by the police about Kam and Khan a few months before. After answering a few more questions, I was taken back to the holding cell. I remember thinking that this was crazy, man! I had no idea that I was going to be giving evidence and there was no offer for me to speak to a solicitor before I went in to the court . It was mad to come up the stairs and see a whole court-room of people waiting for me right there and then, I didn't think they could spring it on you like that. If I hadn't have been in custody at that time it would have been a different story. They wouldn't have been able to do things that way.

Some time later the police came for me a second time and took me to court again, to give yet more evidence. This time, I kicked off and refused to do it. There was no incentive for me, I wasn't getting anything out of it, no reduction of my sentence or extra helpings and yet they wanted me to be a witness in a serious case. I told them to f*** off, why should I tell them anything? I said that unless there was a good reason for me to be doing this, I would retract any prior statement if they made me go into the court room again. I made a bit of noise so they didn't use me that day. They left me in the holding cell for some long hours until I was taken back to the Y.O.I that evening.

When I turned 21 I was still in custody at a Y.O.I. and asked to be moved to a prison to finish my sentence. I was sent to Nottingham Prison after a court appearance, and on the night I was booked in I was in the holding room when Kam passed me. He saw me and made a few gestures through the glass divide and I made some back at him. The prison service sent me to Nottingham knowing full well that Kam and Khan were in custody there and that I had been forced to give evidence in relation to them in court only a matter of weeks before. The b*stards like to cause sh*t, probably because I wouldn't give evidence the second time and tried to cut myself a deal, which now I know the full story, I should have been entitled to. Maybe I should sue the police and the prison service.'

This is a reflection of the society we live in today. This awful series of rape and abuse was given the opportunity to span a length of time running over 18 months in total before the surveillance operation came to a halt when one girl escaped the clutches of Saddique and Liaqat and was brave enough to tell the police that she had been raped. Saddique was already on electronic tag for assault on a woman at the time police surveillance was under way, and two of the young victims were in local authority care at the time of the attacks. It is painfully clear that more could have been done to protect all the girls and prevent the terrible ordeals that they endured. If we continue to turn our faces from the ugly truth of modern society and can't be bothered to take an active interest in protecting and fortifying our communities, then we have no right to tut-tut and point our fingers at others who also do nothing to help to fix our broken Britain. In the mean-time, Saddique and Liaqat have grown long beards and have taken to wearing traditional Islamic clothing, no-doubt to demonstrate their rekindled devotion to the Muslim faith and not at all to gain extra benefits offered to Muslims in custody, such as prayer mats and slippers, Halal chicken and three showers a day.


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