August 2013

Teen girls praised for helping cops catch man who paid for sex

TWO teenage girls have been praised for their “bravery” after helping police catch men who were paying to sexually abuse them.

A judge said they had shown “extreme courage” as a 50-year-old man was yesterday ruled to have had sex with the girls, who were aged 15 at the time.

But the jury at Derby Crown Court were told that they could not find Mohammed Najib guilty because he has mental health problems and will most probably be sent to a secure hospital.

Najib, of Salisbury Street, Derby, will be the ninth man sentenced for abusing girls.

Eight men have already been jailed for a total of 42 years for plying the teenagers with alcohol, drugs and gifts before paying them for sex in Normanton and Pear Tree.

Yesterday the court was told that the girls had helped Derbyshire police with their investigation.

Judge Jonathan Gosling said: “They have both showed extreme courage and fortitude. It has gone back many months and, against that background, there is the ordeal they had to go through in giving evidence.”

The jury decided unanimously that Najib paid for sexual services from a child on seven occasions in 2010.

But they were told he was mentally ill and could not be tried in the usual way. They were not able to return a verdict of guilty. Najib will be sentenced on October 11, after psychiatric reports, and the judge said he could be given a hospital order.

He did not attend this week’s four-day trial.

One of the girls told the jury she had mistakenly believed it was legal to sell sex from the age of 16 and gave that age to some of the men. But she said Najib eventually knew she was 15 when they argued over a lost mobile phone.

After that, they had sex once more in his people carrier, off the A52. She later gave police part of the registered number of a vehicle.

The second girl said she also sold sex as a 15-year-old. She described Najib as one of her clients and had a mobile phone number which was registered to his address.

Last September, eight other men were jailed for between four and seven years, banned from working with children for life and were put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The investigation, called Operation Kern, began in July 2010, when officers became worried about teenage girls seen on the streets at night.

It involved Derby City Council because some of the girls were in care. Officers identified 15 girls who were involved, seven of whom wished to take part in the prosecution. Five of these girls were victims while the other two were witnesses.

Detective Superintendent Andy Stokes, head of Public Protection, said yesterday: “These girls were young and vulnerable and were exploited by men who groomed them and bought them presents to keep them on-side. They showed tremendous bravery in coming forward and speaking to police and by providing vital evidence to ensure these convictions.”

Det Supt Stokes said the force had worked closely with other agencies in Derby throughout the investigation.

And a spokesman for the Derby Safeguarding Children Board said: “We commend the successful outcome and also the bravery of the young people involved.

“Tackling this form of child abuse continues to be a priority for the Derby Safeguarding Children Board. The outcome shows the success in detecting and disrupting child sexual exploitation.”

EIGHT ALREADY JAILED FOR ABUSE

Stefan Godfrey, 44, of George Street, Pinxton, was convicted of paying a girl of 15 for sex knowing or believing she was underage. He was jailed for six years.

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Anthony Lambert, 51, of Warren Street, Derby, was found guilty of paying for sex twice with the same girl. He was jailed for six years.

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John Shaw, 54, of Kniveton, was found guilty of twice paying a girl for sexual activity. He was jailed for four years and 11 months.

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Mark Adaoui, 40, Carlton Road, Derby, was found guilty of paying a girl to perform a sex act on two occasions. He was jailed for seven years

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Ijaz Ahmed, 35, of Becher Street, Derby, was found guilty of paying two different girls for sex when they were 15. He was jailed for six months.

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Colin Simpson, 55, of Old School Lane, Cresswell, Worksop, admitted three charges of paying for sexual services of a 15-year-old girl and was jailed for four years.

Ian Yeoman, 49, of Mortimer Street, Derby, admitted 12 counts of paying for sexual services of two girls. He was jailed for four years and eight months.

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David Shardlow, 56, of Charlbury Close, Derby, admitted nine counts of paying for sexual services of two girls and possessing indecent images of children. He was jailed for four years.

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