Paula (Not her real name) has spoken of the ordeal she went through.
Paula was one of the victim the Telford grooming gang, it is believed that the Telford grooming gang had groomed or raped over 1000 vulnerable underage girls dating back to 1980s.
Ali Sultan, 31, one of the gang member was sentenced to jail for 7 years after he was found guilty of 2 counts of rape of Paula.
He was previously jailed for being part of the Grooming gang. His other victim were as young as 13.
Paula revealed how Ali Sultan started abusing her just days after she was raped by his cousin Shahmeel Khan.
Paula bravely came forward to give evidence against Shameel Khan, which got him a 10 year jail term.
Paula spoke in details about the ordeal and what other young girls should do if they are in the same situation she was in.
“Predators can read a person, they get very good at it,’’ she said.
“Because of everything that has happened to me I can tell who is a predator, I can tell when someone is trying to chat someone up in an inappropriate way. But what experience does a 12,13,14-year-old girl have?
“What chance do they have up against a man who might have 15 years’ experience of raping and tricking and grooming girls? How on earth can a young girl be expected to get out of that situation?
“These men can see who is vulnerable.’’
She recalled: “Sultan kept calling me when my friend wasn’t with me and trying to talk to me. I was having none of it at the time.
“He started knocking on my door, at first asking for my friend. If my friend wasn’t in, I’d say he wasn’t. He would ask if he could come in and I’d say, ‘No, you can’t. He isn’t here’.
“He started saying things like, ‘Who is in there?’. I’d say, ’No one’. It was just a trick to find out if I was on my own.
“Around the same time his cousin Shahmeel Khan got out of prison. Two weeks later, on June 17 in 2007, Shahmeel broke into my flat and raped me.’’
He again returned later and raped her twice.
Ali Sultan also started to sexualy assault the victim at this time.
Paula said: “Two days after Shahmeel raped me, Sultan came to my flat with one of his friends and made me perform a sex act on him and his friend. That’s one of the counts of rape he was convicted of.
“I reported his friend but failed to correctly pick him out in an ID parade. I only knew his first name and only saw him that once and never saw him again.
“When I gave evidence in court I told them that when Sultan first started coming round he would be very polite. When I’d say no, he’d say, ‘Why not? Are we not friends?’ I couldn’t say no because I knew that as soon as I said we were not friends, he’d get aggressive with me and push his way in.
“When Sultan and his friends first used to go on about me performing sex acts I used to think it was them just joking. But after Shahmeel raped me I was very, very scared. And I realised that Sultan was not joking.
“I think I just gave up after Shahmeel raped me. When Sultan came round two days after the rape I was still in shock, still traumatised. I had no fight left in me.
“He used to say he would make my life hell and said I didn’t want to play games with him. He would say he would kick my door in and when I said ‘you won’t because of the locks’, he said ‘I will kick your head in then’.”
Paula some how gathered the courage and went to the police.
Paula said: “I went to the police about Sultan in June 2010. I got included in Operation Chalice at the end, not in the court case, but as a victim, because I went to the police once the case had started.
“I was training at university at the time and had no idea the case was going on. It was a coincidence I went to the police while they were in the middle of investigating Operation Chalice.
“Partly because of that, they didn’t arrest Sultan for what he did to me until after Operation Chalice had finished. They had to produce him from prison, arrest him and get his statement.’’
“I don’t feel as if anyone listened to me, nobody cared, so how was I supposed to think about what was happening to me?”
Paula has now rebuilt her life, she has got a nursing degree and works at a health trust. She has now moved to a different part of the country.
“I went to the police initially after Shahmeel raped me, but I told them I was too scared to have him arrested,’’ she said.
“Instead of encouraging me and making me feel better and giving me some options, they just said if I didn’t want him arrested then they’d have to say it was consensual.
“I don’t feel as if anyone listened to me, nobody cared, so how was I supposed to think about what was happening to me?
“In the privacy of my own flat I was so scared and didn’t know what to do because everybody thought it was my own fault.
“I’d be at home crying, saying to myself that I had to come up with a plan to stop it happening the next time. I’d listen to my music loud on headphones so I couldn’t hear the door banging.
“Now, I’d really like to give advice to young girls in this position. I want to help them.’’
Paula’s Advice On How Girls Can Protect Themselves:
- “Try and memorise street names, door numbers, car registrations and things like that, so you can tell someone you trust where you are in case things go wrong. Always have taxi numbers available and secret money.”
- “Always remember that you can run away. Some of my biggest regrets are when one abuser was driving me around that I just didn’t get out of the car and run off. You can run away, even though they may have manipulated you into feeling that you can’t.”
- “If you want to say no, and they are pushing you into it, just keep saying no. Sometimes the hell you put up with for not putting out is more traumatising that having the sex. I can sit at home and remember the trauma that I went through not to have sex and I can feel proud of myself for those times.”
- “Never give up on your parents. They might shout or get angry or not understand but that’s because they really care about you. And they are the only thing that’s always there, boyfriends come and go but your parents will love you forever. Talk to them, try to help each other. Your family are your team, they’re on your side.”