‘INEXCUSABLE’ was the word used by Burton’s top policeman after five men from the town were convicted of child exploitation offences.
Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey (pictured), commander of East Staffordshire local policing team, also moved to praise the courage of the 15-year-old victim for coming forward and helping to convict the men who were responsible.
Three men were convicted of sexual activity with a child, and one man of attempting to rape the 15-year-old following a hearing of Stafford Crown Court. Another was found guilty of blackmail.
He said: “The outcome is welcomed and demonstrates that we will not tolerate abuse of this nature in Staffordshire.
“The protection and care of vulnerable young people is of utmost importance to us.
“Our child exploitation team is dedicated to tackling child exploitation issues through prevention, safeguarding and enforcement.
“This case involved a number of individuals who repeatedly targeted a vulnerable young girl and sexually exploited her.
“These men acted in a predatory way and sought her out to abuse her – their actions are inexcusable.
“Although we welcome the outcome, our thoughts remain very much with the victim who has been incredibly brave and support has been put in place to help her through the court case and beyond. Reports of child exploitation are treated extremely seriously and will always be thoroughly investigated.”
Junaid Ali, 20, of Shobnall Street, was found guilty of attempted rape.
Anees Hanif, 19, of Norfolk Road, Stapenhill, was convicted of two charges of sexual activity with the girl and one of inciting a child to sexual activity. He was acquitted of one further allegation of sexual activity.
Umber Farrouq, 21, of Belvedere Road, was convicted of two charges of sexual activity with her.
Matab Ali, 21, of Gordon Street, was also convicted of two counts of sexual activity with the girl.
Ameer Arshad, 18, of Waterloo Street, Burton, was found guilty of blackmail.
The men will be sentenced on Friday, July 18.