It’s been ten years since I resigned as detective constable from Greater Manchester Police in protest at how the victims of the Rochdale grooming gang were repeatedly failed.
And so little has changed since then. This most horrific child abuse case continues to expose so much of what is wrong with our so-called ‘justice system’. Whether that’s inadequate charges, pitiful sentences, lack of victim care or systemic failures in prosecutions, this case exposes the lot, and it still makes my blood boil.
We discovered this week that Adil Khan and Abdul Rauf, two convicted members of the notorious grooming gang, are fighting deportation from the UK on the grounds this will breach THEIR human rights! But what about the human rights of the victims, whose lives they destroyed?
MAGGIE OLIVER: It’s been ten years since I resigned as detective constable from Greater Manchester Police in protest at how the victims of the Rochdale grooming gang were repeatedly failed
Adil Khan was a married man of 40 with three kids when he abused multiple children over many years, including a girl of just 13 who he made pregnant. He repeatedly denied this, but a DNA test proved he was the father.
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights grants the right to a private and family life, which seems fair and reasonable, right? As far as I am concerned, when these paedophiles abused their victims, they forfeited all claim to their own human rights and should have been deported years ago as directed by the trial judge.
Instead, they are making a laughing stock of this country, exposing how weak our system is, while having millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money thrown at them as they try every trick in the book to remain in the UK. It’s scandalous!
At least 47 children were groomed and abused by the gang of which Khan and Rauf formed part, but despite the magnitude of the crimes, Khan served less than four years of an eight-year sentence, Rauf just two and a half of his six-year sentence.
In a recent court appearance, Khan had the nerve to claim: ‘We have not committed that big a crime.’
Clearly still unrepentant. To be considered for parole, an offender must be seen as no further risk to the public and show remorse. I would argue that neither of these criteria have been met here.
MAGGIE OLIVER: We discovered this week that Abdul Rauf, a convicted member of the notorious grooming gang, is fighting deportation from the UK on the grounds this will breach HIS human rights! But what about the human rights of the victims?
MAGGIE OLIVER: Adil Khan was a married man of 40 with three kids when he abused multiple children over many years, including a girl of just 13 who he made pregnant. He repeatedly denied this, but a DNA test proved he was the father
Khan is also fighting deportation on the grounds it would leave him stateless, claiming he had renounced his Pakistani citizenship. It’s a blatant attempt to play the system that will lead to an even longer drawn-out legal process, more money earned by their lawyers, on top of the millions already wasted through legal aid.
The Government’s rape review last month showed that victims are not reporting crimes for fear of being let down by the criminal justice process: not being believed, being blamed, going through the traumatic process only to see the prosecution collapse.
The victims of the Rochdale grooming gang have been treated appallingly at every step by the police, CPS and parole… they are still seeking justice, but are bottom of the pile every time.
Perhaps the final kick in the teeth was when one of Khan’s victims came face to face with him in her local supermarket. Imagine her absolute terror – she rang me in a total panic as she had no idea he’d been released from prison, never mind living back in Rochdale. The authorities had never contacted her since the day she gave her evidence in court, a clear indication of the absolute contempt with which victims are treated.
Rape and abuse have been virtually decriminalised in this country and even Government figures show that the chance of being prosecuted for rape is microscopic – at 1.6 per cent of cases recorded by police (which we know is a tiny proportion of crimes actually committed).
This is why I started a foundation to support survivors of sexual abuse or exploitation to transform their pain into power. We know this is not a historic problem that has been fixed.
These failings continue, with victims abused by the criminals and then so often by the system that is supposed to support and grant them justice.
If you are in need of support, can donate or would like to find out more about our work, please visit www.themaggieoliverfoundation.com.