January 2011

Sex predators who groomed girls as young as 12 given indeterminate prison sentences

Abid Siddique, left, and Mohammed Liaqat

THE ringleaders of a gang that used the lure of drugs and drink to groom girls as young as 12 in a campaign of rape and assault spanning two years have both been handed indeterminate sentences.

Abid Mohammed Saddique and friend Mohammed Romaan Liaqat targeted vulnerable victims outside school gates and picked up teenagers who were wandering in Derby city centre streets.

At least 27 girls – one of whom was living with foster carers in Derby and two others in city children’s homes under the supervision of Derby City Council or Leicestershire County Council – fell prey to the gang.

The depraved acts were uncovered by police during an undercover investigation dubbed Operation Retriever.

After three secret court trials, spanning 10 months, Saddique, 27, of Northumberland Street,Normanton, was convicted of four counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment, two of sexual assault, two charges of sexual activity with a child, causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, perverting the course of justice, and aiding and abetting rape.

Liaqat was found guilty of one count of rape, two counts of sexual assault, aiding and abetting rape, affray and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

And both pleaded guilty to causing a person under 18 to be involved in pornography.

Today, the pair were both given indeterminate sentences.

Saddique will not be considered for parole for 11 years taking into consideration the 617 days he spent on remand.

Liaquat was told he had to serve at least eight years before being considered for parole, taking into consideration 617 days he has already served.