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    Gang guilty of abusing vulnerable girls

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    A gang of men have been convicted of a catalogue of offences against vulnerable girls who were preyed on and abused.


    The group of men befriended the girls, plied them with alcohol, then took them to "parties" where they were often used for sex.


    An undercover investigation by Derbyshire Police, dubbed Operation Retriever, was split into three trials which have run since February.


    At the culmination of the third case earlier, two of the gang's ringleaders received more convictions for sex crimes at Leicester Crown Court.


    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, which involved 26 victims, one as young as 12.


    Out of the original 13, a total of nine stand convicted.


    Abid Mohammed Saddique, 27, and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, 28 - both married with children - were said to be the leaders of the gang.


    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.


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


    They will be sentenced on January 7.


    Other defendants have already been convicted and sentenced.