Victim B waives anonymity as judge sentences those who groomed her for sex.

News report by Helen Gavaghan, 27th February 2019.

HOME | Short Journalistic Court Reports.

Judge Durham-Hall QC clarified with Kama Melly QC this afternoon that Victim B!, born in XXXX, has today waived her right to anonymity in a case in which six men were yesterday found guilty of raping her. Mr Yasser Majid (37) was today found not guilty of raping Victim B. The crimes took place in Bradford and Dewsbury.

Three men also committed sexual offences other than rape against Victim B. These are: Basharat Khaliq* (37), Zeeshan Ali (32) and Faheem Iqbal (28). Miss XX is victim B in the news report located at http://www.gavaghancommunications.com/cr_52.html.

At lunch time his honour sentenced the nine defendants who had been taken into custody yesterday.

Judge Durham-Hall QC said, "No major city in our country has escaped the scourge of grooming of vulnerable young persons by older men." Addressing the dock his honour said, "Victim B sits in Court and has shown utmost courage. No doubt for years she thought she had no voice. Well she has a voice now, gentlemen."

His honour passed the following sentences:

Basharat Khaliq (37*) 16 years concurrently for each of five counts of rape of victim A, who at time of writing had not renounced her anonymity, and 4 years to run consecutively for an assault on Victim B; Mr Saheed Akhtar (55) - 20 years in total; Naveed Akhtar (43) - 17 years; Parvase Ahmed (36) - 17 years; Izar Hussain (32) - 16 years; Kieran Harris (28) - 17yrs; Faheem Iqbal (28) - 7 years; Mohammed Usman (31) - 17 years; and Zeeshan Ali (32) - 18 months. These sentences for some defendants include concurrent tariffs.

The Court heard victim impact statements. Kama Melly QC read out that from Victim A. "Not only have I had to share personal details once, but twice --- I have lived in fear --- I have the most irrational thoughts -." Victim A is making reference to this being the first time a full trial has taken place, though there was one earlier which had to be abandoned.

Victim B read out her own statement. Seated in the press box with a police officer beside her Victim B told the Court that since the age of 15 she has been diagnosed with mental health disorders, that she self harms, and has made multiple suicide attempts. Calmly she recounted many harrowing details. She said that as a child she had excelled academically, had been predicted to get A* grades, and had even once dreamt of becoming a lawyer.

The judge said he could not find sufficient words to praise the jury for their work on the case, went out of his way to thank court staff, including those in admin and commended all police who had worked on the case.

Online 18.30 gmt on 27th February, 2019.

! Additional note 12/2/2019. Though Victim B waived her anonymity and I reported that news and her name on the afternoon that that was discussed in Open Court I am now removing the name of victim B from the news report above, because the item will be moved into the quarterly humanities' title, Science, People & Politics. For the editorial purpose of the quarterly magazine I do not think as editor we need to reveal victim B's name. There is no disrespect of the victim intended by my editorial decision.
Helen Gavaghan, Editor, Science, People & Politics.

Statement by Helen Gavaghan. I was in Court (by which I mean the room in which the judge was sitting) as a journalist for the verdict on 26th February and for the sentencing reported here. In both situations I made a contemporaneous news report of events. I have nearly 40 years of experience as a journalist and editor covering a broad range of complex and highly sensitive subjects nationally and internationally, and frequently working de novo on the basis of training and experience. In 2012 I broadened my experience by going as a journalist into magistrates' Courts. Though I have experience on staff and as freelance for others I was working in the context of a magazine and media outlet I and some colleagues have founded. Criminal Court reporting is a small part of journalism, and it is far from being the hardest, most dangerous or challenging journalism I have undertaken. But I decided that that as a journalist was what I needed to do because much seemed to be happening which was not being reported. Sensationalist headlines, aggressive judgementalism and, in a number of cases, being first for no good reason seemed to be taking precedence over accuracy and public interest. Given how many of my friends are journalists I was puzzled, and I decided to investigate why so much of screaming significance was being missed from the Courts. As a victim of medical abuse and life destroying denigration by the MHAct - and utter negligence and lies and abusive medical reports of plain garbage - I was and remain deeply interested in the intersection of the MHAct and the CJS. I found lawyers unaware that I knew better than them not to report PTPH hearings, lawyers unaware that breaching habeas corpus takes a public interest precedence over breaching a PTPH. There were lawyers arrogant and condescending and utterly disrespectful of my professionalism, of the access I have earned and had to highly privileged information, to the complexity of work I have undertaken. And worse I am horrified by the blatant condescension to the actually and supposedly mentally ill. I am horrified by the casual dismissal of the equality, ability and competence of the actual and supposedly mentally ill. I am sickened by the stupidity I have witnessed of a barrister in open Court accusing me of having signalled a defendant and of accusing me without evidence of being in contact with organised crime. Had I not already spoken with police about the matter the barrister raised that person (about whom I have with evidence of his wrongness made formal complaint to the Bar Standards Board) could have ended my career. To my disgust his word were gulped up with terrifying gullibility by local press not even in the Court room at the time of that barrister endangering my life with casual ill-informed comments made in a manner abusive, I allege, of his rights of audience. Leveson either did not go far enough, or did not ask the right questions. Broadcast and print journalism are two totally different kettles of fish. And as a journalist I do not want rights of audience in Court with judges. Having a public exchange from the press box with the coroner if he or she asks a questions is fine. Answering questions from the press box about matters of law when those questions are asked by Crown Court judges and one is not on oath is plain bloody lunacy. HG.

*The date of birth, according to the judge's associate, which is on the Court record, means that Mr Khaliq is 37, however Mr Khaliq's defence team say he was born a year earlier than that recorded by the Court, and the prosecutor spoke of Mr Khaliq as being much older.

In line with magazine policy the names in this news report will be removed once it is moved into the magazine Science, People & Politics. At that point as editor I will decide whether or not to remove names from the report. The magazine is interested in journalism, not a quasi judicial-process. This is a policy slowly being applied retrospectively to nearly all news reports, and in many examples has already been applied. If need be the PDF version of the magazine will be republished as a new edition. The publisher is seeking to have the magazine pdf catalogued separately by the British Library to the non-print legal deposit of html files on the publisher's two websites. A significant difficulty lies in not knowing specific dates when the BL will spider the publisher's websites.

12/2/2019. I wish also to dissociate myself totally from an attempt made by The (Bradford) Telegraph & Argus to obtain in advance a copy of the judge's sentencing remarks on the day the verdict in the above trial was returned. I had no prior knowledge such a request was to be made.

Helen Gavaghan. Website production and management.

GavaghanCommunications

HTML and CSS Helen Gavaghan© All rights reserved

!

*
*