Five men have been convicted of child abuse after exploiting the ‘profound vulnerability’ of a 15-year-old girl, it emerged today.
The victim, who was removed from her drug-addicted parents and taken into care at a young age, took the stand in two trials to give evidence against her abusers.
She told the court that the defendants plied her with vodka and cannabis before having sex with her.
The abuse take place in 2008 and 2009 in Rochdale, and first came to light after the girl complained to police that Congolese refugee Freddie Kendakumana had raped her.
Guilty: Chola Chansa, left, and Abdul Huk, right, are two of five men convicted of abusing a teenage girl
She had been prompted to talk to officers after telling a health support worker that Kendakumana had been forcing himself upon her.
However, other social workers failed to report her claims that she was having consensual sexual contact with a string of older men whom she labelled ‘boyfriends’.
It was not until last year, four years after the initial complaint, that the defendants were finally charged.
Last month Kendakumana, 27, was convicted of rape and sexual activity with a child. He was cleared of a second count of rape.
Two other men, Mohammed Rafiq Abubaker, 25, and takeaway worker Roheez Khan, 27, were found guilty of sexual activity with a child. Khan was also convicted of witness intimidation.
A fourth man, 33-year-old Chola Chansa, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child just before the trial started.
Abuse: Freddie Kendakumana, left, and Mohammed Rafiq Abubaker, right, were also convicted
In another trial which concluded today taxi driver Abdul Huk, 37, was found guilty of sexual activity with a child.
Two more defendants were cleared of all charges, while the jury was unable to reach a verdict on another man.
The five men convicted in the two trials will be sentenced on December 20 at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
Judge Jonathan Foster QC removed reporting restrictions on the case following the end of the second trial.
This is the second major child abuse case in Rochdale in the past 18 months, after nine men of Pakistani origin were jailed for the systematic grooming and sexual abuse of five white girls in May last year.
Dozens more potential victims of child sexual abuse have been identified in Rochdale by Greater Manchester Police.
Opening the case against all the defendants, prosecutor Neil Usher said: ‘Leading the chaotic life that [the victim] had for some time by the age of 15, she was vulnerable to being groomed and exploited by those who correctly perceived she would be easy to flatter and impress with free and plentiful drink, cannabis and just as importantly, a level of attention and affection that she craved and felt she had lacked in her difficult early life.
‘She repeatedly and regularly returned to a number of older men all of whom sexually exploited her and some of whom physically abused her, despite her being advised and supported by health care and social workers.
‘The risk-taking and potentially harming positions she regularly put herself in was an indication of the extent of her profound vulnerablily and emotional immaturity.’
Taking advantage: Huk and Chansa, along with others, gave the girl alcohol and drugs before abusing her
In 2008 the girl, now aged 20, was a troubled teenager who had been taken into care by Social Services at an early age following a chaotic upbringing by her drug-addicted parents, he said.
She was later returned to her mother after a stint in foster care but began drinking alcohol, taking crack cocaine and sniffing lighter fluid from the age of 11.
The girl was in touch with a number of agencies including Pennine Care Foundation Trust’s Crisis Intervention Team which deals with sexual health and Early Break, an organisation which focuses on substance misuse problems.
The prosecutor said she would tell those agency support workers and her social workers from Rochdale Council about the lifestyle she was leading.
She claimed that older men would give her copious amounts of alcohol, sometimes drugs, and she would have consensual sex with them.
The court heard that the girl realised shortly before her 16th birthday that her torrid lifestyle had to end and she later cut her ties with older men and enrolled at college.
As she testified in the two trials the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, provided chilling details of how her ‘boyfriends’ would abuse her.
Speaking calmly, she described one occasion when Kendakumana dragged her by her hair as she was trying to leave his flat.
‘He slapped me across the face for no reason,’ she told the court. ‘I said, “Why?” He said, “I felt like it.”‘
She added: ‘He kept saying he wants a baby with me. At first I thought maybe I should but I changed my mind.’
In a police interview, she said that Khan was ‘controlling’ and violent when she was seeing him.
‘He kept ringing and ringing me, asking me to come out,’ she said. ‘Having a drink one night, I ended up sleeping with him. Started going out with him but it got too much.
‘He got controlling, he said, “Don’t go to school.” He said we will get married and live abroad.’
She added that he threatened her when she attempted to end their relationship.
‘He said if you finish I’m going to smash your windows, plant drugs in your house and kidnap you and your mum. My windows got put through.’
Giving evidence at the first trial, she told the court that various men would invite her to their flats around Rochdale and ply her with spirits.
‘They would say they were my boyfriend but they were not really,’ she said. ‘But at the time I thought that was what a relationship was.’
Read more: Daily Mail