'My Son Needs Role Model' Says Rochdale Sex Offender Facing UK Deportation

'My Son Needs Role Model' Says Rochdale Sex Offender Facing UK Deportation
Adil Khan (left) and Qari Abdul Rauf after their arrest in Rochdale, England, in 2010. (Greater Manchester Police)
Chris Summers

Ten years after they were convicted of grooming and sexually exploiting underage girls in the town of Rochdale in the north of England, two men have mounted a last-ditch effort to stop their deportation to Pakistan.

One of the men, Adil Khan, who is now 52, was jailed for eight years for conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation in 2012 after he fathered a baby with a 13-year-old girl.

Speaking through an interpreter Khan told an immigration tribunal in London on Wednesday: "As you know, the father figure is very important in every culture in the world, to be a role model for the child, to tell him or her right from wrong.”

He also said he was not wanted by his family in Pakistan because his crime might harm their business.

The second Rochdale sex offender, Qari Abdul Rauf, now 53, was jailed for six years for conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Rauf, a married religious studies teacher at a Rochdale mosque, asked a 15-year-old girl victim if she had younger friends and then supplied the girls to other men who would have sex with them.

The pair were part of a notorious grooming gang in Rochdale, which included Shabir Ahmed, a welfare rights officer for neighbouring Oldham Council who was jailed for 22 years for his role.

Grooming Gang Driven by 'Lust and Greed'

Sentencing the gang Justice Gerald Clifton said they were driven by "lust and greed" and told the men they had treated the girls "as though they were worthless and beyond respect."

The then Home Secretary Theresa May ordered Khan and Rauf to be deported to Pakistan but they appealed, leading to 18 hearings in crown courts, immigration tribunals, and finally the Court of Appeal.

On Wednesday the pair began a three-day hearing in the First Tier Tribunal Immigration And Asylum Chamber in London.

The former MP for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "I campaigned to have these sent back to Pakistan. Our legal system should not protect perpetrators like these, nor should UK taxpayers be financing lawyers so much, for so long. Think about who protects these rapists."

The Rochdale case, along with similar Asian grooming gangs in Rotherham, Oxford, Telford, and Huddersfield who targeted white girls often in care homes, led to accusations that politicians, social workers, and senior police officers turned a blind eye to the abuse for fear of being accused of being racist.

In 2017 the Labour MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion, resigned as a shadow equalities minister, after writing a column in The Sun newspaper in which she wrote: "Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls."

The following year the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC: “When it comes to gang-based child exploitation it is self-evident to anyone who cares to look that if you look at all the recent high-profile cases there is a high proportion of men that have Pakistani heritage.”

On Wednesday the Independent Office for Police Conduct published its final report into the Rotherham grooming gang which found South Yorkshire Police "failed to protect vulnerable children and young people."