A taxi driver plied two girls with alcohol and drugs then raped them in a terrifying campaign of abuse.
Mohammed Saleem, 42, groomed the two girls who were aged 14 and 15 when he targeted them in the 1990s.
Both victims were extremely vulnerable and “abused in the worst ways possible.”
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Taxi driver Saleem, of Rochdale, met them both at a house of an older associate, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.
He gave them lifts in his taxi and plied them with booze and cannabis before raping them, prosecutor Mark Kellet told the court.
Despite being married and having children, he went onto continue sexually, physically and mentally abuse one of the girls for more than 17 years.
I have even installed spyware on their computers to track their internet activity.
Saleem was today jailed for 33 years after being found guilty of 31 offences.
“The victim was vulnerable due to the use of alcohol and drugs to facilitate the offences,” Mr Kellet said.
“There were 16 offenses of rape over an 18-year period.
“There was systematic abuse of the victim, who was targeted and exploited as an extremely vulnerable young child.”
In a victim personal statement read to the court, the first woman said: “I often reflect on how my childhood was full of abuse instead of love and protection.
“I feel ashamed by what happened.
“Coming to the stand in the court was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.”
The other woman said: “It’s impossible to put into words how I have been personally affected by the last 32 years.
‘I became an empty shell’
“My whole life was destroyed – I lost my identity when I was just a child.
“I became an empty shell.
“I really struggle to make choices for myself as I was always made to believe I was incapable of making my own decisions.
“No doubt as a result of what I have suffered, I have been left unable to trust, which has left me very lonely and isolated.
“I still don’t know how to move forward.”
Following a six week trial, Saleem was found guilty by a jury of 31 offenses including:-
• Six counts of indecent assault against a 14-year-old female
• Rape of a 14-year-old female
• Three counts of rape of a 14/15-year-old female
• Indecent assault against a 15-year-old female
• Assault occasioning actual bodily harm
• Nine counts of rape of a female
• Assault by penetration
• Three counts of rape of a female under 16 years
• Two accounts of voyeurism
• Sexual assault
• Securing unauthorized access to computer material
• Two counts of making indecent images of a child
Saleem was said to have no previous convictions.
In mitigation, his barrister David Langwallner said: “There is an element of acceptance of a degree of responsibility.
“Looking at the issue of dangerousness in the context of intimate relationships, there is no doubt he was a danger to young girls 20 years ago, but there has not been any displays of that danger recently.
“Mr Saleem is going to face an awful shock quite soon.”
Sentencing, Judge Tina Landale said: “She was almost half your age when you spotted her and targeted her for a sexual relationship in which you exploited and manipulated her.
“You took away her freedom.
“It was your distorted belief that Islam entitled you to rape her on many occasions.
“You saw her as your possession.
“There was a significant degree of planning, you targeted her with false compliments, alcohol and drugs to wheel your way into her life and exploit her.
‘You have no remorse’
“Your other victim, you manipulated her with drugs and alcohol using the advantage of a premises to enable the rape to take place.
“You have no remorse, and your report identifies that you find you have done nothing wrong.”
Finding him to be a dangerous offender, Judge Landale added: “You are capable of deceiving those closest to you.
“You have no empathy at all or insight into the damage you have caused.
“You believe you are entitled to sex whenever you want.”
Saleem, of Cannon Street, was jailed for 30 years with an extended license period of three years, of which he will serve two thirds (20 years) in prison before being considered for release by the parole board.
He was also made subject of the Sex Offenders Register for life and Sexual harm Prevention Order indefinitely.
Detective Constable Sarah Hayfield of GMP’s Rochdale district, said: “The victims in this case were abused in the worst ways possible.
“This man preyed on their vulnerabilities as young girls and exploited them for his own sickening pleasure.
“He then went onto control and abuse one of the victims for 17 years.
“This was a horrific order that has no doubt left a damaging and haunting impact on those lives affected.
“I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to these two brave women and their families for their support and strength throughout this investigation.
“Their resilience has been instrumental in ensuring we could secure this custodial sentence and, although I have no doubt this will stay with them for the rest of their lives, I hope today will help bring some form of closure.
“I also extend my thanks to our partners at Rochdale Borough Council, particularly their adult care recovery and re-enablement team, who have both supported the investigation and been instrumental in providing the victims with the care and support they need whilst we investigated Saleem.
“I hope this sentencing sends a clear message that child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse is abhorrent and will never be acceptable and through our joint working with the council on child sexual abuse we will ensure anyone who engages in this type of vile behavior will be brought to justice, as we have seen today.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.