March 2015

Sex offender jailed for 18 years as victim describes her ordeal

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A 36-year-old man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison as part of Operation Bullfinch and work by police into the sexual abuse of young girls in the Oxford area.

Tilal Mahdi of Friars Street, Hereford was convicted by a jury at Oxford Crown Court of:

  • Conspiracy to rape a girl under 16 – sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment

  • Conspiracy to indecently assault a girl under 16 – sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment

  • Conspiracy to rape a girl under 16 years – sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment

  • Trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation – sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment

  • Arranging or facilitating child prostitution of a child under the age of 18 years – sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The sentences are all to run concurrently.

Mahdi is the tenth man to be convicted and sentenced as part of Operation Bullfinch.

The charges relate to two girls in the Oxford area and other cities within England.

The girls were aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the offences.

Victim of Tilal Mahdi bravely tells her story, speaking frankly about the abuse she suffered

One of his victims, describing her ordeal, said: “I was 14 years old and I met him through a friend, outside a children’s home, he made me feel like he cared for me.

“He was never violent, he was caring and loving, he used alcohol and we used to get drunk quite a lot and smoke cannabis, but he would never drink himself, but he would smoke cannabis.

“I was 14 years old, I didn’t have any money, he always had money, he would buy the drink, he would buy the drugs.  

“It was a few months down the line, there would be parties at his, and there would be other men there. There would be dancing and his friends would get a bit touchy, and I’d look to him to say you know ‘stop it’ and then he would come up me and say ‘come on if you love me, come make them happy.’

“At first I generally didn’t want to do it, but I’d get so drunk I don’t think I knew what was going on sometimes, and I loved him, I wanted to make him happy.

“I didn’t regard it as abuse back then, I thought he loved me.

“I originally went forward about the first case, but I got scared and I dropped out, and the police approached me again about Tilal and because I have children of my own I thought it was the right thing to do.

“It makes my skin crawl that I saw him, a picture of him when I had to do the face recognition thing and it made me feel sick.

“Well it’s not your fault and you should come forward and talk because there are people now that will do something about it. Back then it happened a lot and nothing was done, but now it’s all going to change.

“I’m closer with my family more than ever now, but I don’t have a lot of friends, I don’t trust anyone.

“I’ll never be able to have a normal relationship again. I can’t, I can’t be with anyone, I’ve tried and I just can’t I’m just happy with my children now.”