JAILED: Coventry rape gang who trafficked and sexually assaulted teenage girls - The Coventry Observer

16th Aug, 2022

JAILED: Coventry rape gang who trafficked and sexually assaulted teenage girls

Lauren Clarke 27th Jan, 2017 Updated: 30th Jan, 2017

A COVENTRY gang who raped and trafficked two young girls have been jailed for a total of 42 years.

Waqaar Khan, Kadeem Bourne, Marcus Woolcock, Keenan Kelly and Zahid Chaudhary were found found guilty of 18 charges of rape, sexual assault and human trafficking against two girls following a six-week trial at Leamington Justice Centre.

The gang, led by 24-year-old Waqaar Khan, used social media over a period of months to contact the girls and groom them before arranging to meet them with the promise of gifts and shopping trips.

This led to the girls 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 before abusing them.

Both girls gave evidence to the court detailing how they had been targeted.

Gang leader Waqaar Khan aged 24, was found guilty of two counts of human trafficking and three of rape and has been jailed for 14-and-a-half years.

Kadeem Bourne, aged 23, has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years for two counts of human trafficking, one of sexual assault and one of rape.

Teenager Kenan Kelly has been sentenced to 10 years in total behind bars.

The 19-year-old faces nine years for one count of human trafficking, one of sexual assault and two counts of rape, and an extra year for possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

Marcus Woolcock, aged 23, was found guilty of one count each of human trafficking and sexual assault and has been sentenced to two years and two and a half years to run concurrently.

Zahid Choudhary, aged 20, has been jailed for 18 months for one count of human trafficking.

Khan, Bourne and Kelly will be placed on the Sex Offender Register for life with the exception of Woolcock who will remain on it for five years.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Green, from West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit, welcomed the sentences.

He said: “The sexual abuse of young girls is inexcusable.

“The effects can last a lifetime and I am determined that by working with the Horizon Team we can protect other vulnerable young people.

“Our investigation into Waqaar Khan’s network is still on-going and we are continuing to sift through thousands of texts to identify further potential victims and their abusers.

“I hope that these convictions will give others the courage to come forward.”

The Horizon Team, a special multi-agency team set up to discover, disrupt and tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Coventry, also welcomed the gang’s sentencing.

John Gregg, Director of Children’s Services for Coventry City Council, said: “We have been criticised in the past for not working closely enough with partners.

“We listened to that criticism and the result is that five dangerous men are facing a long time in jail.

“I recognise the immense courage of the young people who took the huge step to place their trust in the Horizon Team.

“I hope they feel that trust was justified and I hope any other young person finding themselves facing such horrific situations knows there is a team waiting to support them and take them seriously.”

“CSE is something that can happen to all children − both boys and girls – from any walk of life, and we all have a duty be vigilant and report it.”

An NSPCC spokesperson commended the bravery of the two young, female victims who gave evidence in court.

They said: “In speaking out and bringing their abusers to justice these brave girls have stopped this manipulative group from potentially committing further offences.

“They must now be given the necessary support to recover from what has happened to them.

“These men are guilty of hideous crimes that relied upon secrecy and control.

“It is right that they are behind bars but as a society we must all be aware of the signs of child sexual exploitation and quickly report concerns.

“This case also highlights some of the dangers children face on social media and we have called for clear improvements in how young people learn about online safety.”

 


Where to get help:

  •  If you are – or know anyone who is – being sexually exploited, call police on 101.
  • If you would prefer to give information anonymously, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Visit www.seeme-hearme.org.uk to find out more about the West Midlands region’s campaign to help spot the signs of exploitation and where to go to get help
  • Call 02476 788555 for Coventry’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
  • In Warwickshire, contact the Child Sexual Exploitation Team on 01926 742226 8.30am-5.30pm Monday-Thursday, 8.30am-5.00pm Friday.
  • The NSPCC helpline can be called in confidence on 0808 800 5000
  • Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or via www.childline.org.uk .
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