Underage girls including vulnerable young women were taken to parties in Newcastle plied with drugs before being raped and sexually abused, it has been reported.
17 men and one woman have now been convicted of charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution, in a number of trials at Newcastle Crown Court.
Older men preyed on immature teenagers who were plied with cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or mephedrone, then raped or persuaded into having sexual activity with the lure of the illegal drugs at parties crudely known as “sessions”.
It has been revealed that Northumbria Police launched a major investigation after receiving information from social workers and initially spoke to 108 potential victims.
During four trials, 20 young women gave evidence covering a period from 2011 to 2014.
Those prosecuted were from the Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish communities with some of the offenders being British-born.
During the course of Operation Shelter, which was the police’s codename for the covert investigation, 12 men were subsequently kicked out of the country.
For the prosecution John Elvidge, QC, said: “This was a section of young women who were tricked into believing they were in the company of friends.
“They were groomed and lulled into trusting those who would ultimately abuse them.
These young women were being sexually exploited and were the sort of women who were easy targets.”
Badrul Hussain told an inspector: “All white women are only good for one thing, for men like me to f*** and use as trash, that is all women like you are worth.”
Mr Elvidge said that the gang “demonstrated…contempt for women. He regarded these girls as commodities, like drugs, to be used.”
Operation Shelter was part of a wider inquiry called Operation Sanctuary, which has seen around 100 people convicted of a range of serious offences, including drugs, modern-day slavery and firearms charges, with jail terms totalling more than 300 years.
Over the course of consecutive trials, a picture emerged of how victims were befriended by abusers and lured to parties where they would be given mephedrone, for free.