LONDON – A UK court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by two members of a gang jailed a decade ago for recruiting teenage girls for sex in northern England against deportation to Pakistan.
An immigration tribunal ruled that there was a “very strong public interest” in removing the men — Adil Khan, 51, and Qari Abdul Rauf, 52 — from the UK after they fought deportation for a long time.
They were sentenced in 2012 as part of a gang of nine men of Pakistani and Afghan ancestry living in the northern English town of Rochdale.
Members of the gang were sentenced to up to 19 years in prison for conspiracy to engage in sexual contact with children under the age of 16, among other offenses.
The gang preyed on white British girls as young as 13, raping and passing them on to other males for sex.
This trial was part of a sequence of similar grooming gang cases in other English cities, including Oxford.
Khan and Rauf were both Pakistani nationals who obtained British citizenship through naturalization. They were finally stripped of their British citizenship, along with another gang member, in 2018.
In a long-running test case, the men challenged their deportation on the basis of human rights, citing the right to a private and family life as well as the fact that both had renounced Pakistani citizenship.
Both men were released several years ago after serving portions of their sentences and were said to be living in Rochdale, near their victims.
Khan, who raped a 13-year-old girl, told the tribunal he wanted to be a “role model” for his kid, prompting judges to call him “breathtakingly remorseless.”