Wednesday, 13 June 2018
How do you report on the eight men jailed for abusing children as young as 13? The Daily Express says: “A child sex gang has been jailed for nearly 90 years with the eight ‘predatory”’men abusing girls as young as 13 in a car they dubbed the ‘s**gwagon’.” Why the censorship? Are Express readers too prudish to read the word ‘Shagwagon” in a tale of child rape in a Nissan Serena People carrier and other places? Said one victim: “They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them. Everything happened in that Serena.” It was a “s**gwgon,” says the Mirror, the paper owned by the same group that now also owns the Express.
The men, referred to as a “gang”, are aged 36 to 48. Their crimes occurred from 1998 to 2005. That’s a long time. Their victims were aged between 13 and 17.
Detective Sergeant Nicola Douglas, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, goes on the record: “I would like to say a huge thank you to the victims who have all demonstrated such courage and bravery throughout the investigation and during the trial. I know nothing can ever undo the unimaginable suffering they were put through, but I hope it gives them some comfort to know these men have finally been held accountable for the abhorrent crimes they committed.”
How did they commit such heinous crimes for so long. How did they get away with it for 7 years?
*The Guardian*: “Eight members of Oxford grooming ring jailed for sexual assault – Men found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting five girls between 1998 and 2005.”
The men are pictured:
Assad Hussain, 37, of Iffley Road, Oxford, guilty of five counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, sentenced to life, to serve a minimum term of 12 years
Kameer Iqbal, 39, of Dashwood Road, Oxford, guilty of three counts of rape, sentenced to 12 years
Khalid Hussain, 38, of Ashhurst Way, Oxford, guilty of rape and indecent assault, sentenced to 12 years
Kamran Khan, 36, of Northfield Road, Bolton, guilty of indecent assault and false imprisonment, sentenced to 8 years
Moinul Islam, 41, of Wykeham Crescent, Oxford, guilty of rape, two counts of indecent assault and supplying cannabis, sentenced to 15 years and nine months
Raheem Ahmed, 40 of Starwort Path, Oxford, guilty of two counts of indecent assault and false imprisonment, sentenced to 12 years
Alladitta Yousaf, 48, of Bodley Road, Oxford, guilty of indecent assault, sentenced to 7 years and 6 months
Haji Khan, 38, of the Willows, Oxford, guilty of conspiracy to rape, sentenced to 10 years
Again: how did they get away with it for so long?
Adrian Foster, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, has an opinion:
“These cases are, in effect, organised crime, and we approached this case in the same way we would approach any organised crime case by making connections, and building an understanding of criminal networks.”
One gets way with it. They tell a friend. Now two are getting away with it. They tell a friend. And so on… Isn’t this why criminal gangs often come from a certain locale or a certain demographic?
The Oxford Mail introduces a new angle in its report, something the BBC, Guardian and Express do not:
Barrister Mark George QC, representing Assad Hussain, pointed to his upbringing as part of the Muslim community which he said ‘does have a tendency to encourage clandestine relationships’ because he was not allowed to bring girlfriends home or have sex before marriage. He added that while in custody he has been a model prisoner, and taken it upon himself to become a ‘listener’ helping to mentor and guide other inmates.
Is being Muslim relevant in crimes that, as the Daily Mirror says, involve “sickening child sex ‘parties’ in Oxford”? The men’s religion does not feature in the CPS report. But ethnicity does in the Daily Mail’s:
The Mail has trouble saying”shagwagon” but its very first word is “Asian”. Are North Koreans raping British children? What does Asian mean? And why don’t other news sources mentioned above use it to describe the bastards? Is it because they fear upsetting a minority or triggering a race riot – that working-class whites will forget their Muslim mates and see extraordinary and rare crimes as the norm? Is it mentioned to suggest something intrinsic in ‘Asians’ that leads them to rape children? In short: is it us or them that the papers, the CPS and the authorities see as the more terrifying and fear the most?
But the biggest question is: why did the crimes persist for so long?