Police, town hall and CPS chiefs have all apologised for the multiple failures that allowed the abuse of the girls to continue for almost TWO YEARS after it was first reported.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, from Greater Manchester Police, Rochdale council leader Colin Lambert and the north west’s chief prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, all admitted there were failings in the way each authority handled the child sex grooming case.
The first terrified victim initially confided in police in August 2008 – telling officers she was being plied with drink and repeatedly raped by a string of men.
She even provided them with her underwear, which carried traces of one of her attacker's DNA.
Two members of the grooming gang – Kabeer Hassan and the 59-year-old man who cannot be named – were arrested and released on bail.
But it took police 11 months to compile a file of evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – after interviewing her on four separate occasions.
And then, in July 2009, an ‘experienced’ CPS lawyer ruled the victim was ‘not credible’ and decided that the two men who raped her should be released without charge.