The NSPCC spoke out as it was revealed that Mubarek Ali, aged 34, one of the ringleaders of a child sex ring in Telford, will be released in November this year, after serving just a quarter of his jail term.
The charity did not comment on the specific case, but said it shared the concerns of Telford MP Lucy Allan over the impact of Ali’s release on his victims.
It said victims need to have the confidence to come forward to prevent future cases and keep more children safe.
The Shropshire Star revealed on Saturday that Ali is likely to be released later this year – just five years into a 22-year sentence.
Ms Allan spoke of her anger at the early release and the fact that his victims, many still living in the area, were not consulted.
Mubarek Ali and brother Ahdel Ali, then of Regent Street, Wellington, were jailed after an eight-week trial.
Ahdel Ali, 27, known as Eddie, was given a 26-year extended sentence – 18 years’ immediate custody with an additional eight-year period on licence after release.
Mubarek Ali, 34, known as Max, was given 22 years, 14 years’ immediate custody and eight years on licence, for seven offences – four of controlling child prostitution, causing child prostitution and two offences of trafficking in the UK for the purpose of prostitution, involving two of the victims. Both men were made the subject of lifelong Sexual Offences Prevention Orders. The gang preyed on girls as young as 12, who were abused during a two-year period between 2007 and 2009.
Captured as part of Operation Chalice and jailed back in 2013, Mubarek Ali has been told he will be released on licence as early as November. NSPCC today said that for victims to come forward, they need to know that abusers will face the full force of the law.
Adam Burling, an NSPCC spokesman said: “Child sexual exploitation is a pernicious crime that causes unimaginable trauma, so it is vital victims get sustained, long-term support.
“The survivors of this horrendous case showed incredible bravery in speaking out against their abusers, and everything possible must be done to ensure they are helped to move forward with their lives and come to terms with what happened.”
“The fight against child sexual abuse relies on victims having the confidence to come forward in the knowledge they will be listened to and supported – and that abusers will face the full force of the law.”
Anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC Helpline, 24/7 in confidence, on 0808 800 5000 and speak to trained counsellors who, if necessary, can take action on their behalf.
Children and young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or via childline.org.uk.