MP welcomes jailing of Telford abusers as victim vows to fight for other women
Telford MP Lucy Allan today welcomed the conviction and jailing this week of four men for sexually exploiting a young girl in the town and praised the "incredibly brave" victim for speaking out about her ordeal in court.
Ms Allan said that other young women will feel safer after abusers Mohammed Ali Sultan, Shafiq Younas, Amjad Hussain and Mohammad Rizwan were sent to prison for their crimes, but she also called for the independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Telford to proceed.
She said: "The victim in this case has been incredibly brave to come forward and live through the ordeal of a court case.
"It is by speaking out and by the CPS securing a successful prosecution, that other young women in our community can feel safer and that justice is done.
"The authorities are much better today at identifying these crimes and at responding appropriately. It is only by shining a light on this issue that many victims have felt able to come forward.
"I am glad to have been given a platform in Parliament to raise this issue repeatedly. I know that because of this, victims have been encouraged to speak out.
- Telford CSE trial: Child sex gang jailed for abuse of teenage girl
- Telford CSE trial: Four found guilty of abuse of girl, which started when she was 13
"We need to be sure that all victims and survivors have access to the support services they need to deal with the trauma they have experienced.
"We must push forward with the local independent inquiry in Telford – it is over three years since I first stood up in Parliament and asked for this inquiry. We do have an excellent chairman in place at last, but the work must now begin of finding out what happened and why.
"We cannot allow any further roadblocks to stand in the way of getting justice for victims and survivors, and allowing our community to move forward."
The offences took place in Telford sometime between 2000 and 2003, and started when the girl, now an adult, was just 13.
I have no regrets about giving evidence, says victim in case
The men's victim said she had been determined to stand up to the men after her ordeal.
Speaking to the BBC, 'Sarah' (not her real name) said: "These men, they're vile, they're dangerous, they don't care about what they did.
"These men, they're clearly all linked, and I suppose maybe because they've got away with it for so long it's still going on.
On coming forward and giving evidence at her abusers' trial, she said: "It brought all those feelings and everything back but I have no regrets.
"I was just determined to finally stand up to these men for what they did. Why should they get away with it?
"It feels like now I can have peace and move on. I want to put this behind me as best I can, and I want to help others to tell their story.
"I know they must be feeling scared, I know how that feels, but they've just got to be brave and they've got to speak.
"We've got to put a stop to it."
This week the ring-leader of the four men, Sultan, 33, was jailed for eight years after being convicted of rape and three counts of indecent assault.
Co-defendant Rizwan, 37, of Mafeking Road, Telford, was also convicted of two counts of indecent assault and was handed a five-and-a-half year jail term.
Younas, 35, of Regent Street, Wellington, who was convicted of indecently assaulting the victim in a churchyard, was jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Hussain, 38, of Acacia Drive, Leegomery, convicted of a single count of indecent assault on Tuesday, was also jailed for four-and-a-half years.
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