ANOTHER ROTHERHAM

One of the defendants outside courtOne of the defendants outside court

Tim Blair, The Daily Telegraph

In West Yorkshire, dozens of men and women face charges of rape, trafficking with intent to engage in sexual exploitation, sexual activity with a child, child neglect and child abduction.

It’s Rotherham all over again:

The defendants – 24 of which are from Huddersfield – were charged after girls as young as 11 were raped and sexually abused.

The cases involving the 27 men and two women were heard in a specially dedicated courtroom at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court today.

They face numerous allegations including rape, trafficking with intent to engage in sexual exploitation, sexual activity with a child, child neglect, child abduction, assault, supply of class A drugs, and possession and making of indecent images of children.

The charges against the defendants are historic, dated between 2004 and 2011, and relate to 18 female victims.

The offences were committed in the Huddersfield area and are alleged to have taken place when the victims were aged between 11 and 17.

They were charged after police launched a series of raids across West Yorkshire known as Operation Tendersea.

They questioned 120 girls about alleged abuse over the seven-year period and 16 provided evidence which led to the defendants’ arrests.

Of the defendants charged, 34-year-old Amere Dhaliwal of Holly Road in Thornton Lodge, faces 54 charges including 21 of rape.

Two women, Shahnaz Malik, 55, of St Anne’s Avenue in Ainley Top, and Naveeda Habib, 38, of Prince Wood Lane in Birkby, face charges of child neglect.

Concerns over systematic child sexual abuse in the area were first raised nearly a decade ago. The defendants are next due in court on May 11

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