Five paedophile grooming gang members from Coventry have been found guilty of a catalogue of child sex crimes against 6 schoolgirls. The sex gang lead by ringleader Waqaar Khan were found guilty following a little publicised trial at Warwick Crown Court. The girls were targeted and groomed on Facebook and other social media websites. Khan would then arrange for them to be picked up in taxis. Then would give them drink and drugs before sexually abusing them and passing them on to his fellow nonces like a piece of meat.
Five men convicted of child sexual exploitation
Five Coventry men have been convicted of a string of sexual offences and human trafficking against young girls after a six week trial at Leamington Justice Centre.
The jury returned a unanimous verdict today (Wednesday 21 December) after hearing how the gang, led by 24-year-old Waqaar Khan, used social media over a period of months to contact teenage girls and groom them before arranging to meet them with the promise of gifts and shopping trips.
Six teenage girls, five of them under the age of 16, gave evidence to the court detailing how they had been targeted which included being picked up by taxis and taken to parties, or just dropped off at car parks where the men would ply them with alcohol and drugs.
All five have been found guilty of 18 charges against two of the girls, including human trafficking, sexual assault and rape.
On several occasions the two girls were assaulted and on one occasion one girl was rendered unconscious, only to come round with items of clothing missing and finding that sex acts had been performed on her and recorded on mobile phones.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Green, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Waqaar Khan first came to our attention in March 2016 when his Facebook account cropped up as a mutual ‘friend’ among several vulnerable young girls in Coventry.
“Around the same time two girls, who had been reported missing from Warwickshire, were linked to Khan and he was arrested for child abduction and released on bail.
“One of the girls alleged she had been raped and a friend of hers posted a picture of Khan and two other men on Facebook asking for their identification.
“All three men went into Coventry police station saying they had no idea what they were being accused off.”
Khan was re-arrested along with Kadeem Bourne, aged 23, and 22-year-old Marcus Woolcock on suspicion of rape and bailed while a comprehensive investigation was launched.
An examination of Khan’s mobile phone revealed thousands of text messages containing sexualised conversations and several videos of graphic sexual abuse.
As officers sifted through the content a pattern of offending emerged. Comments were scattered across different social media platforms and when a reply was received a barrage of messages was sent which quickly became sexual in tone, pressing for a meeting.
Currently hundreds of messages are still being reviewed which relate to a number of separate contacts.
Detectives from the Public Protection Unit began working extensively with the Horizon* CSE team to trace the girls involved and seek out what other offences may have been committed. They identified and made contact with a further four girls who made allegations against the group which also included 19-year-old Keenan Kelly and 20-year-old Zahid Chaudhary.
DCI Green added: “Each girl had a similar story to tell. They had been threatened and even subjected to violence if they did not co-operate with sexual demands or if they reported their abuse to police.
“Our specially trained officers and the Horizon Team have been able to work with these girls to reassure them that what has happened is not acceptable and given them the courage and support to give evidence against their abusers.
“I commend their bravery in reliving their devastating experiences to help bring these men to justice and prevent further young girls from enduring the same treatment. As without doubt, these men would have continued.”
He added: “I believe there may be more young girls who are out there and my officers are continuing to investigate to see whether we can trace any more potential victims- if there is anyone else who may have been affected by these men then please contact us, we have specially trained officers who will listen to your concerns.”
John Gregg, Director of Children’s Services, said: “These convictions have been secured because of the incredible courage of the girls in coming forward, and the excellent partnership work of social workers, police and other agencies that has resulted in five dangerous and manipulative men being caught.”
The See Me Hear Me campaign is raising awareness of the signs of child sexual exploitation amongst parents, professionals and young people themselves. Supported by West Midlands Police, the region’s seven local authorities and children’s charities, the See Me Hear Me website explains how to spot the signs of exploitation and where to go to get help. Find out more at http://www.seeme-hearme.org.uk
If you are – or know anyone who is – being sexually exploited, please call us on 101. If you would prefer to give information anonymously, you can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The dedicated number for Coventry’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is 02476 788555
Childline also have counsellors available online at http://www.childline.org.uk.
The defendants were found guilty of the following charges:
Waqaar Khan − Two counts of human trafficking and three of rape
Kadeem Bourne − Two counts of human trafficking, one of sexual assault and one of rape
Marcus Woolcock − One count each of human trafficking and sexual assault
Zahid Choudhary − One count of human trafficking
Kenan Kelly − One count of human trafficking, one of sexual assault and two counts of rape
Sentencing will take place on 20 January 2017.
*The Horizon Team is a multi-agency specialist team of child protection, CSE and investigative and prosecution experts.