Victim of Rochdale gang demands abusers be kicked out of the country

Victim of Rochdale grooming gang demands Priti Patel kick her abusers out of the country as ringleader, 51, is pictured shopping for food and fizzy drinks in Rochdale

  • Victim of Rochdale grooming gang has urged Priti Patel to kick out abusers 
  • Abdul Rauf, 51, served six years in jail for trafficking and sex with girl, 15
  • He was member of Rochdale grooming gang which abused young girls
  • Rauf was told he faced deportation to Pakistan when he was released on licence 

A victim of the Rochdale grooming gang last night urged Priti Patel to kick her abusers out of Britain as the ringleader was pictured stocking up on fizzy drinks in the town where he abused children nine years ago.  

Girl A, the main victim of the grooming gang, said it was a disgrace the Government had failed to act and called for an explanation from the Home Secretary.

She spoke out after Abdul Rauf, 51, was pictured buying food and drinks in Rochdale, where he and other gang members groomed and sexually abused young girls.

When the married father-of-five was released on licence in 2014 he was told he faced deportation to Pakistan because he holds a dual-nationality passport.

Scandalously, however, Rauf remains free to move around Rochdale – one of three former taxi drivers still fighting efforts to throw them out of the country.

Already one victim has revealed how she had ‘never been so scared in all my life’ after bumping into her attacker in the town.

Campaigners warn the continuing failure to deport them would continue to blight the lives of the girls, now in their twenties and thirties.

Girl A, now 28 and played by Molly Windsor in the BBC drama Three Girls, told the Sun: ‘We were told they would be kicked out of the country. 

Stocking up on fizzy drinks, this is a member of Britain’s most notorious grooming gang – still living in the town where he abused children nine years after being told he would be deported. Abdul Rauf, 51, served six years in jail for trafficking and sex with a 15-year-old girl

‘Knowing that had been done would have been a huge help for all of us in trying to rebuild our lives. But instead we’re still haunted by the paedophiles who raped and trafficked us. Every day we run the risk of bumping into them.’

Last night campaigners and politicians called for Ms Patel to act, with Tory MP Andrew Bridgen charging ‘there can be few individuals more deserving of deportation’ than father-of-five Rauf.

Nazir Afzal, who as Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England was instrumental to bringing the men to justice, said there could be ‘no reasonable excuse’ for the continuing failure to throw the trio out of the country.  

‘I feel enormous sympathy for the victims who are reliving the terrible trauma because of the lack of urgency on the part of the Home Office to carry out the deportation order,’ he said.

‘The message it sends to criminals is that they can move on with their lives while their victims continue to suffer.’

Rauf was part of a nine-strong grooming gang convicted for targeting 47 girls as young as 13 between 2005 and 2008. 

They plied the girls with drugs and alcohol and passed them around for sex. The youngsters were assaulted and raped by as many as five men, one after the other, often multiple times.

Rauf wept in the dock, claiming one of his victims ‘looked maybe 30’ and saying he made a mistake. He was jailed for six years for trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.  

Scandalously, however, Rauf remains free to move around Rochdale – one of three former taxi drivers still fighting efforts to throw them out of the country for preying on underage girls

The Rochdale grooming gang’s abuse was dramatised in a BBC programme called Three Girls

The trial judge condemned the gang for their ‘callous, vicious and violent’ attacks motivated by ‘lust and greed’. Their crimes were dramatised in the BBC’s Bafta-winning Three Girls.

After he was jailed in 2012, then home secretary Theresa May ordered that Rauf be stripped of his citizenship, along with fellow abusers Abdul Aziz, now 50, and Adil Khan, 51. 

All three are dual nationals, having moved to the UK from Pakistan but gaining British citizenship due to their time in the country. They appealed on the grounds that their family life would be harmed, but in 2018 the plea was rejected.

In 2019 the Mail discovered Rauf living close to where some of the attacks took place. This weekend he was seen at a store in Rochdale stocking up on food and fizzy drinks.

‘It’s awful to think a victim could bump into him,’ an onlooker told the Sun. Only one of the original gang, all but one of them of British-Pakistani origin, is thought to remain behind bars – ringleader Shabir Ahmed, 68.

Yesterday Maggie Oliver, a former Greater Manchester Police detective who quit to speak out about failures in dealing with grooming gangs, branded the deportation scandal ‘another kick in the teeth’ for the victims. She said it exposed ‘monumental failures’.

Any foreign criminal sentenced to more than 12 months in prison is liable for automatic deportation. However, guidelines say those who have finished their jail terms should be detained only if removing them is a realistic prospect.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The cases of the foreign national offenders involved in these crimes have recently been reviewed at the request of the Home Secretary.’ 

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