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Two ``sexual predators'' who subjected a series of vulnerable girls in Derby to rapes and sexual assaults described by a judge as a ``reign of terror'' were given indefinite prison sentences today.
Abid Mohammed Saddique, 27, was jailed for a minimum of 11 years at Nottingham Crown Court.
Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, 28, was told he must serve at least eight years before he is considered for release.
Saddique, of Northumberland Street, Normanton, Derby, was convicted of four counts of rape as well as two counts of false imprisonment, two of sexual assault, three charges of sexual activity with a child, perverting the course of justice and aiding and abetting rape.
Liaqat, of Briar Lea Close, Sinfin, Derby, was found guilty of one count of rape, two of sexual assault, aiding and abetting rape, affray, and four counts of sexual activity with a child.
The men were the prime movers in a group of men who befriended girls aged from 12 to 18 in the Derby area and groomed them for sex.
By befriending the youngsters, giving them alcohol and inviting them to parties where they were often used for sex, the gang used a ``classical grooming process'' to entice and bewitch the youngsters, a senior police officer said.
The gang managed to particularly seek out a majority of youngsters who had troubled personal and family backgrounds, meaning they were vulnerable and in no position to stand up to the men who wanted them simply for sexual gratification.
Of the 26 victims, the youngest of which was 12 and the eldest 18, a serious case review was carried out into two who were in local authority care at the time of the abuse.
Multi-agency reviews were also carried out into more than 20 of the other victims involved.
But Derbyshire Police said the girls were from a variety of backgrounds and urged all parents to be aware of the risks of sexual exploitation.
Thirteen men were charged in relation to Operation Retriever and 11 stood trial for a string of charges - not all sexual - relating to the case. Out of the original 13, a total of nine stand convicted.
See below a video from Derbyshire Police - showing the predatory nature of the men - grooming girls by buying alcohol, and following girls round Derby. NOTE: The girls in this video were NOT victims.
Judge Philip Head told Saddique: ``Your crimes can only be described as evil,'' adding he was an ``evil, manipulative and controlling'' character who was a continuing danger to young girls.
The judge said: ``You are in the truest sense a sexual predator with a voracious sexual appetite that you gratified as frequently as possible in a variety of ways.''
He said the pair's attitude was ``sex at any price'' as they and others embarked on a ``reign of terror on girls in Derby''.
Commenting on the sentencing of two men involved in a case of sexual abuse in Derby Detective Superintendent Debbie Platt said: "We welcome the sentences handed down by Judge Head today. They are a reflection of the seriousness of the offences.
"Abid Mohammed Saddique and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat are sexual predators who preyed on vulnerable girls and young women in Derby.
"These men were brought to justice thanks to the bravery of the victims who appeared at the trials of Saddique, Liaqat and their associates
"The girls have shown amazing courage and determination to see the men who subjected them to unbelievable cruelty brought toustice.
"Officers who are experienced in this type of enquiry were shocked by the scale of abuse some of these young victims faced.
"This was the most complex case of child abuse the Derbyshire Constabulary has ever faced and the force worked closely with other agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice.
"We hope that the victims can now move on with their lives and try to put their ordeal behind them."