London - Four members of a grooming gang from Telford who passed around an under-age girl ‘like a piece of meat’ for sex were jailed for a combined 22 years on Thursday.
The victim, now an adult, told how she was forced to perform sex acts in a churchyard and was raped above a pizza shop on a filthy mattress from the age of 13.
When she tried to resist, she was violently abused. The ringleader Mohammed Ali Sultan, 33, has already been jailed twice before for two rapes and other offences against teenage girls.
Sentencing the group, Judge Melbourne Inmam QC said they had groomed and abused a ‘helpless’ victim until she was ‘no longer in effective control of her own life’.
The Recorder of Birmingham told Sultan, who was only 15 or 16 at the time of the offences, he had ‘exercised significant control’ over the ‘extremely frightened’ girl and remained a ‘very dangerous man’.
The judge said the gang had passed the ‘vulnerable’ victim around as a ‘sex object’.
The four men went on trial this month accused of historic offences from 2000 to 2003 in the Shropshire town.
The victim claimed many others, as yet unidentified, also assaulted her with the abuse continuing until her mid-teens.
Prosecutor Michelle Heeley QC had said: ‘This case involves the sexual exploitation of a young girl, a girl passed around like a piece of meat for sexual gratification.’
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court had seen video interviews in which the victim told of two years of ‘hell’ and of repeatedly considering taking her own life.
Years later, she recognised photos of Ali Sultan and another abuser from press reports on an earlier Telford sex ring case.
She picked out the four defendants at photo-based identity parades up to 16 years after her ordeal.
Sultan, convicted of rape and three counts of indecent assault, was jailed for eight years.
Mohammad Rizwan, 37, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and given five-and-a-half years.
Shafiq Younas, 35, was found guilty of indecently assaulting the girl in a churchyard and jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Amjad Hussain, 38, was given the same sentence for one count of indecent assault.
Telford is feared to have been the epicentre of one of the worst and longest-running child grooming scandals in Britain.