Ringleader of Rotherham grooming gang jailed again for raping teen girl after getting her drunk

24 May 2024, 14:45 | Updated: 24 May 2024, 14:47

Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar has been jailed
Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar has been jailed. Picture: NCA/Alamy

By Kit Heren

The leader of a Rotherham grooming gang will spend more time in prison after being found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl.

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Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, 42, who is already serving a 23 year jail sentence for raping teenage girls, was given another 20 years in prison. Although these will run concurrently, he is likely to come up for parole later.

Akhtar was first was convicted in 2018, having led a group who groomed girls, befriending them, before giving them drugs and alcohol, and abusing them.

After he was found guilty, another victim came forward who said she had been raped by Akhtar between 2001 and 2003.

The abuse started when she was 13.

Read more: Failures behind Rotherham child abuse scandal revealed as 1,400 girls let down by police

Read more: Court delays preventing rape victims from coming forward, says senior police commander

Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar
Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar. Picture: NCA

Akhtar admitted the two further counts of rape and two of indecent assault, and was given the additional sentence on Friday.

NCA Operations Manager Stuart Cobb said: "The victim in this case showed immense bravery to come forward and tell her story after what was a harrowing ordeal at the hands of cruel and vindictive man.

"Akhtar treated his victims like his own possessions, supplying them with drugs and alcohol while they were abused."

Sheffield Crown Court heard his victim was a "very vulnerable girl living in difficult circumstances", and that she had had started going missing and staying away from home.

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Akhtar called her over to his car, and began to groom the girl, giving her alcohol and drugs, the court heard.

She described engaging in sexual activity with him four or five times a week for about a year in his car and an apparently empty house in Rotherham.

On one occasion, he and another man intimidated her and another victim - "clearly distressed and unwilling" - into sexual activity.

Akhtar could be "cruel and unpleasant to her", and abandoned her in a remote place after kicking her out of his car.

She told police that "when she walks down the street and sees someone that vaguely resembles the defendant, it makes her feel sick".

Michael Collins, mitigating, said the offences were committed before Akhtar married and had a child, and that he had mental health difficulties which were "making incarceration harder".

"He has made proper efforts in prison to rehabilitate, he has taken a number of courses focusing on education and is now an education mentor to others," Mr Collins said.

"He is doing what he can in prison to improve himself with a view to returning to his wife and child when he is released."

Judge Wright said: "I commend the bravery of the victim in coming forward after all this time.

"Her childhood and adolescence can never be reclaimed, the effect of your (Akhtar's) offending on her cannot be overestimated.

"She was an extremely vulnerable young girl who came from difficult family circumstances and was clearly looking for attention."