Manchester’s top cop has dismissed comments from a judge who suggested the gang picked white girls because they were not of their “community or religion”.
As he jailed the nine men Judge Gerald Clifton told them: “Some of you acted as you did to satiate your lust, some to make money. All of you treated them as though they were worthless and beyond all respect. I believe one of the factors that led to that was that they were not of your community or religion.”
But Chief Constable Peter Fahy said he had a different view to Judge Clifton, telling us the gang members targeted girls because they were vulnerable, not because they were white.
One of the defendants is an illegal immigrant from Afghanistan but the other eight are of Pakistani heritage. Seven were born in Pakistan. All the men are Muslim.
Mr Fahy said: “Overall, our feeling is that if these girls had been from Asian or black backgrounds, it wouldn’t have made much difference to these men. I don’t want to undermine a whole community by saying ‘the Pakistani community has to sort this out’. It’s just as daft as saying white people have to sort out people who commit robberies.
“From our knowledge of sex offending, there’s a whole range of perpetrators coming from all sorts of backgrounds. This is really about vulnerability and criminals who wanted to take advantage. The judge thinks what the judge thinks. It’s about men exploiting vulnerable girls.”