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UK court jails 20 men, mostly Pakistanis, for sexual abuse of teenage girls

 LEEDS, Oct 20: Twenty men have been jailed for raping and abusing more than a dozen girls in a northern England town, in what a judge called a "vile and wicked" campaign of exploitation.

The men in the town of Huddersfield were found guilty in three trials this year, but the verdicts could not be reported until a judge lifted reporting restrictions on Friday, the Dawn reported.

The cases are the latest in a series of prosecutions in northern English towns and cities for child sexual exploitation involving British Asian men of mostly Pakistani heritage.

The men were accused of being part of a gang that groomed vulnerable girls described in court as from "isolated" backgrounds and were convicted of more than 120 offences against 15 victims aged between 11 and 17.

Prosecutors said the victims were plied with alcohol and drugs before being sexually abused by the men at parties and in cars, parking lots, a snooker centre and a fast-food restaurant.

Amere Singh Dhaliwal, whom prosecutors said was the gang's ringleader, was found guilty of 22 counts of rape and sentenced earlier this year to a minimum of 18 years in prison. The judge told him that "the way you treated these girls defies understanding".

The other men received sentences of between five and 18 years in prison. - IANS

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